Most parents work towards securing their child’s future in terms of finances, education and housing. But what about their health? With the latest advances in technology and science, we now have the option to secure a child’s future health by collecting blood from the umbilical cord at birth and storing the umbilical cord blood stem cells – also known as Cord Blood Banking.
As a parent, protecting your growing family is top priority. You can take the first step by saving your newborn’s cord blood. Cord blood banking is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you to collect and save stem cells from your baby’s umbilical cord blood for potential medical uses. Having this invaluable resource can be life-changing for your baby and other family members.
The Power of Cord Blood Stem Cells
Cord blood is a rich source of stem cells that are the basic building blocks of life. They are found in the body’s organs, tissues, blood, and immune system and have the ability to regenerate into additional stem cells or differentiate into specialized cells, such as nerve or blood cells. This remarkable ability makes them invaluable in medical treatments. When transplanted into a patient’s body, stem cells can repair or replace the patient’s damaged or diseased cells, improving the patient’s health and, in many cases, saving the patient’s life.
The Healing Power of Stem Cells
Today, the primary type of stem cells in umbilical cord blood – called hematopoietic stem cells – are being used in transplant medicine to treat over 80 life-threatening diseases, including a wide range of cancers, genetic diseases, immune system deficiencies, and blood disorders. Cord blood is being researched today for use in regenerative medicine where stem cells may help induce healing or regenerate cells to repair tissues in conditions such as juvenile diabetes, hearing loss, cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury.
Advantages of Preserving Your Baby’s Stem Cells
Having your baby’s own genetically unique stem cells offers many advantages if stem cells are ever needed for treatment by you, your child, their siblings, or any other family members:
- Your baby’s cord blood is immediately available for your family if needed for treatment, and early treatment can minimize disease progression.
- If ever required for a transplant, using your own family’s cord blood instead of an unrelated donor’s can have significant advantages, including fewer complications and improved medical outcomes.
Newborn stem cells can be found in cord blood and the umbilical cord itself (cord tissue). These are noncontroversial sources of valuable stem cells that are collected after the umbilical cord has been cut and would otherwise be discarded.
Promise of Stem Cells
Cord blood has been successfully used in transplant medicine for more than 20 years to treat many serious diseases. Today stem cell therapies continue to evolve, bringing new hope to patients and their families. It is exciting to note that ongoing medical research by scientists around the world is bringing more and more medical conditions within the sphere of stem cell therapy. There are hundreds of ongoing clinical trials that are unveiling incredible possibilities for regenerative medicine that include the growth of new tissues and organs using stem cells. The future looks bright as armies of stem cells are presently at training camps to become our lifesavers against conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and spinal injuries.
The first successful cord blood transplant was performed in 1988 on a 5-year old boy with Fanconi’s Anemia (a rare genetic and lethal type of anemia). He was given zero percent chance for survival. The donor was his newborn sister. Today, he is alive and free from disease for more than 20 years after the transplant.
“A UAE national boy with Thalassemia Major was treated with his brother’s umbilical cord blood in 2014. According to the transplant physician, “There is a big chance that the patient will be completely cured and free of blood transfusions, thanks to his sibling’s umbilical cord blood.”