Tennis star Rafael Nadal and soccer icons Christiano Ronaldo and David Beckham might be among those who celebrate a little-known tribute known as Cord Blood Awareness Month.

The three athletes have treated some of their injuries over the years with umbilical cord stem cells.

Cord Blood Awareness Month is in July, and the intent is to raise awareness about the value of umbilical cord blood, which can help heal injuries, cure diseases and save lives, according to

Cord blood is the blood and tissue derived from the placenta and umbilical cord of a newborn.

“Over time, doctors have realized how essential this blood is, hence, an extra effort is put into spreading awareness regarding cord blood advantages,” according to The website refers to it as “a natural wonder that can only be obtained from the miracle of birth.” claims umbilical cord blood — which contains many types of stem cells including an abundance of the hematopoietic variety — works wonders. Stem cells have the natural ability to regenerate, renew and replace damaged cells with healthy ones.

Hematopoietic stem cells found in cord blood are responsible for the development of a baby’s blood and immune system, and are responsible for maintaining the health of the blood and immune system throughout a person’s life, according to Viacord.

The value of cord blood has led to the growing popularity of “blood cord banking.”

“Cord blood banking is not a new concept,” Viacord states. “Families have been banking cord blood for decades and, more importantly, so many families have benefited from their decision to bank.”

After a baby is born, the cord and blood within it can be stored, or banked, for future use by the infant’s family. Sometimes referred to as stem cell banking or stem cell preservation, the blood in the cord is collecting and processed to extract the stem cells, which are then cryogenically frozen for potential future medical use.

The Mayo Clinic recommends conducting research to seek out a banking facility. Public facilities are appropriate for people who wish to allow the cord blood to be used for public use or research; private facilities are for those who want to personally use the blood, according to the clinic. Cord blood banked in a public facility is typically unavailable for private use.

Cord blood can be collected at any facility where health care providers are trained to recover cord blood. Public facilities don’t charge to store cord blood, but there might be a fee imposed by the hospital where the baby was born for the collection of it.

Cord blood can save lives and can help treat several medical conditions, according to These include “inborn errors of metabolism,” which are defined as rare genetic conditions that disrupt the breakdown of specific nutrients, and genetic disorders of the blood and immune system.

Cord blood can also be used to treat hematopoietic malignancies — cancers of the blood such as leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.”