This post was sponsored by Salveo – the company that has partnered with me to store my baby’s stem cells.
When you become a first-time parent, the last thing on your mind is the “what ifs”.
No one wants to think about the scary things that could happen to their kids.
The truth is that we all want our babies to grow healthy and live a long life without any complications or diseases. We try to stay positive and give the best we can to our kids, however, anything can happen when we least expect it.
I think it is extremely important that we educate ourselves on topics that no one talks about often – topic like stem cells storage.
You should strongly consider storing your baby’s stem cells – even if there is no history of diseases in your family as stem cells may be the key to the future of healthcare. It is used already to treat some cancers, lymphomas, auto-immune and other blood-related diseases, and in clinical trial phase, there is the potential to treat autism, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, diabetes and many more.
If you want to find out why I chose to store my baby’s stem cells, click here.
The umbilical cord and placenta are usually discarded as medical waste yet they have so much to offer. They have the potential to save someone’s life – even if it is years from now.
10 reasons why you should consider storing your baby’s stem cells:
1. Cord blood stem cells will always be a perfect match for your baby.
There are no ifs or buts about this.
Stem cells can help to repair or rebuild injured or damaged cells for your child and potentially other family members too.
2. Cord blood stem cells have potential sibling/family use.
There’s a 1:4 (25%) chance of being a perfect match for a sibling. With cord blood transplants, it is however not always necessary to have a perfect match and, depending, for example, on the number of stem cells in the collection, a lesser match may be acceptable.
3. Stem cell research is revealing exciting future uses.
Science is progressing every day. There are already a number of clinical trials which are being undertaken with umbilical cord blood and cord tissue stem cells – these include clinical trials for blood disorders, as well as for neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, stroke, anoxic and traumatic brain injury, for diabetes and, for example, for muscle repair and arthritis. Visit www.clinicaltrials.gov for more info.
Stem cells are already being used to 3D print tissues and organs.
4. Cord blood stem cells can be used to treat nearly 80 diseases!
5. Umbilical cord stem cells have greater therapeutic potential.
Umbilical cord stem cells are young and active in comparison with stem cells from other sources like the bone marrow which mean that they can differentiate faster. Think of it as the master template!
The umbilical cord blood stem cells are also more ‘immunologically naïve’ than bone marrow stem cells as they have not been exposed to outside immune stimulation (such as infections). In allogeneic transplants (such as between siblings) they are less likely to cause the transplant-related complication of graft-versus-host disease.
Another important reason to store at birth is that your baby’s stem cells will be collected and ready to use immediately if necessary. There is no need to take the time to locate a possible donor for bone marrow and then determine whether he or she is still willing and able to donate if required for a sibling transplant.
A 1 in a 100 000 chance isn’t enough – Depending on a person’s tissue type, the chance of finding a bone marrow donor may be less than 1 in a 100 000.
6. Cord blood collection is simple and safe.
The process won’t hurt your baby or delay skin-to-skin bonding after birth. It typically takes only 5 minutes.
7. You can store your baby’s stem cells for 20 years or more.
Stem cells are stored in special cryo-preservation bags which are overwrapped and placed, individually, in aluminum protective cases. Each sample is labeled with a unique identifying code and stored, in a cryo-preservation tank, in the vapour phase of liquid nitrogen (at approximately minus 196oC). Evidence shows that after 23 years of preservation at these world-class standards, stem cells are still healthy and good to use. Therefore it is conceivable that these cells will be stored for many years in the future – making it a lasting gift to your children that could even be passed on to grandkids.
If you want, you can visit the lab in Pretoria to learn about this process. To setup, an appointment, call +27 87 8080 170.
8. You have an option of storing your baby’s stem cells locally or internationally.
If you are moving countries, you can chat to Salveo about moving the storage somewhere close to you. It can be shipped in their frozen state anywhere in the world. You would, however, be liable for the cost of the relocation.
9. Salveo offers payment plans!
You can read more about the payment plan option here. I highly suggest you contact the company to discuss further.
10. Your medical aid may cover it!
Chat to your medical aid to find out if they are willing to cover a portion of your stem cell storage. If not, remember that some medical aids have negotiated special discounts with Salveo and the Cryo-Save laboratory. Speak to them to find out if you qualify.
It doesn’t matter if you have a natural or C-section birth, you can still store your baby’s stem cells.
To read more about what stem cells are used for, visit www.ecsbio.com.