Cord blood banking. Sounds so out there and fantastical, doesn't it? But y'all, it's a real thing and has the potential to save lives. Cord blood banking has been around for more than 20 years and allows families the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to preserve their newborn's stem cells. I was surprised to learn that Cord Blood Registry (CBR) was so much more than just a cord blood and cord tissue banking company. I was delighted to learn that CBR has tons of helpful tools and resources available to parents.
I remember learning all about cord blood banking while I was pregnant with Melanie and I was just completely fascinated by it. The idea that something that is generally thrown away after the birth of a baby could give your child or an immediate family member, depending on the condition and other factors, the opportunity to use this resource for current cord blood therapies and potential future applications, like regenerative medicine.
But, Cris, you may be asking. WHAT is the big deal about cord blood banking? Well, I'm glad you asked. Here's a few bits that I found really interesting:
- Did you know that in today's world, many conditions may be treatable with cord blood as a part of a stem cell transplant (including various cancers plus blood, immune, and metabolic disorders).
- CBR is also funding research to find potential future uses – like their current funding of clinical trials that are investigating potential ways for newborn stem cells to treat conditions that currently have no cure.
- Currently, CBR is devoted to partnering with reputable research institutions on FDA-regulated clinical trials for advance stem cell research.
- Recently, results from a CBR-funded clinical trial testing cord blood as a potential treatment for autism were published. And, there is more research underway right now.
Educating yourself on your options when it comes to newborn stem cell preservation is a good way to prepare. I learned that CBR believes in the power of healthy families and they have many options to make it affordable, including payment plans or a gift registry option where friends and family can contribute toward the cost of preserving newborn stem cells. And FYI, families with a qualifying medical need may qualify for their Newborn Possibilities Program®. This program can cover all costs related to preserving their child’s newborn stem cells and storing them for 5 years.
When you enroll with CBR you have access to their team of Certified Genetic Counselors. This team is able to discuss your family’s medical history (as it relates to newborn stem cells) and can also educate you on your options to preserve them for your family's future.