Standing inside such a technologically advanced newborn stem cell storage facility was an incredible experience, and rare learning opportunity. An invitation to the #MyStemCellsLiveatCBR Lab Tour 2016 meant we would tour the Cord Blood Registry facility and learn about the amazing process. Our daughter, one-year-old Bianca, visited the facility with me and posed in front of her very own stem cell storage unit, which was unforgettable.
A newborn’s blood from the umbilical cord contains stem cells that can be preserved if saved immediately following birth providing the potential opportunity to heal the body and promote recovery. Currently stem cells have been used for the treatment of over 80 diseases, including certain blood disorders, cancers and more. Preserving these cells at birth helps protect them from aging, so they may possibly be used in the future for your family. The umbilical cord tissue contains different types of cells that have healing potential, as well. Many children have used their own stem cells or their siblings in current treatment options and clinical research studies. We have two daughters, one and eight years old. We considered cord blood and tissue storage with our first daughter but never followed through with the process. Although our oldest daughter is healthy, not banking her cord and blood tissue is a decision we regretted. When we learned we were pregnant with our second daughter almost six years later, we knew we would bank her cord blood and tissue. I learned that her stem cells have great potential for both her and her sister (if they’re a genetic match), with so many studies currently taking place more medical and scientific discoveries could well be on their way! The CBR Collection Kit makes banking your child’s cord blood and tissue a simple process. We received the kit by mail and packed it in our hospital bag. Months later when our daughter was born, our doctor completed the collection, packaged up the kit and my husband called CBR’s medical courier to pick it up right from the hospital. It was so easy! The safe handling process was explained to us numerous times, but it wasn’t until the CBR lab tour that I saw exactly where the collection kit containing our daughter’s samples was delivered. The kits are processed promptly upon arrival, and the cord blood and tissue are safely preserved.
We chose to bank our daughter’s cord blood and tissue at Cord Blood Registry because the process is extremely easy and it’s an affordable way to secure this powerful resource to potentially protect our family’s health. While we don’t yet know the full potential of stem cells collected at birth, we do know CBR was built to help ensure the long-term safety of our baby’s newborn stem cells. During the tour we learned about processing and exactly what happens to the blood and tissue after delivery at the lab. The samples are stored above liquid nitrogen and in multiple segments, making it possible to use them more than once depending on the situation. Learning about the process with other CBR families was fascinating.
Every family has a unique reason for choosing to bank their child’s cord blood and tissue. During the lab tour we met other families that had their stem cells stored at CBR too. We also met a family whose daughter had actually used her cord blood in a recent experimental procedure. We all signed a wall sharing why we choose CBR. The many different reasons represent families with the same goal – raising happy and healthy children. We chose CBR because “we did not bank with our oldest daughter and now feel better having access to her baby sister’s cord blood with CBR.” Of course, we also understand there are potential limitations for the uses of the cord blood within the family based on genetic matching.
We had fun meeting with other families and learning about cord blood and tissue banking from the CBR staff. Baby Bianca enjoyed taking selfies and playing with other children, one of whom had received her own cord blood stem cells in an experimental procedure!
It was hard to grasp the amount of life-saving and scientific potential in the same room when we finally saw the storage units. Protected by bullet-resistant glass and temperature monitoring, the cord blood and tissue are preserved to help ensure their long-term safety and viability.
As I watched my one-year-old daughter sit on the steps in front of her cells, swinging her little legs while clenching a soft stuffed horsie that goes everywhere with her, it was impossible to avoid the overwhelming joy of security knowing we made a decision that could potentially help keep her and her sister healthy in the future.
Our daughters have already grown so much since we chose to bank cord blood and tissue with CBR. They are happy, healthy sisters that each have their own little personalities; and we are happy parents knowing we have the security of baby sister’s stem cells if we ever need to use them.
The CBR Lab Tour 2016 was an unbelievable experience, and although we already knew it was the right decision, it helped us feel secure that storing our daughter’s cord blood and tissue was the best decision for our family.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored and I received a discount to write about and share my experience.