Welcome to Monday Funday!
I’m continuing along with some living room progress, but I’ll be showing you those projects next week.
This week, I showed you my Healthy Eats for the Week. If you’re Paleo, Alkaline, or just have crazy food allergies like I do, you’ll want to check these out!
These are the Healthy Eats for the past two weeks actually. I think last week got away from me.
There have been some winners and losers.
Good thing my husband is a goat and will eat the leftovers regardless.
Living Room Progress over the past year has been……slow.
What can I say? Sometimes I look around that room and shake my head that’s it’s not finished (considering finishing it really wouldn’t take that long). Sometimes life, (and essential outdoor projects) crowd this room out.
…and I have to realize that it’s often a good thing.
So, let’s take this room from the top shall we?
There are times, when my two professions collide. It’s uncommon, but when they do, I love it!
This past week, I was invited to fly to New York and learn about cord blood and the latest research by ViaCord, a leading private family cord blood bank that has been providing high-quality stem cell and tissue preservation service to families for 20 years.
It was fascinating research!
You’ve probably heard of cord blood banking before. Maybe you’ve even banked for one of your children, or maybe it’s seemed strange, you’ve questioned what it really was, or heard you’d have to be a millionaire to bank it!
There is a ton of interesting research and information about this subject, but for now…
Let’s cover this in 5 points:
1. What is cord banking?
2. Why is cord banking a good thing (why do people do it?)
3. How does it affect me? (current research and trails)
4. Is it affordable?
5. Misconceptions about cord banking.
So let’s get started.
1. What is cord banking?
Cord blood banking is the process of collecting and storing your baby’s umbilical cord stem cells for potential medical use. Why cord blood stem cells you might ask? Cord blood stem cells are biologically younger and are more flexible compared to adult stem cells. They are young and naive, and don’t know quite what they’re supposed to be when they grow up. Science is realizing that the body can direct the cells where they are most necessary! They have the ability to potentially heal damaged cells, tissues, organs, blood and the immune system. Additionally, cord tissue cells are also being studied for their potential to regenerate bone, cartilage, tendons, and neurons. Sometimes refereed to as “Master Cells”, these cells can heal the body and promote recovery, and have enormous therapeutic potential! Our bodies are intuitive and amazing!
There are actually two types of umbilical cord stem cells that can be banked: the tissue cells and the blood cells. Originally cord blood cells were only banked, but they now know that banking cord tissue cells may be beneficial as well as research continues to work towards finding new therapeutic possibilities for additional diseases and injuries.
In case this is new-to-you information, cord blood and cord tissue stem cells are collected at the time of birth by the health care provider and ultimately stored at a ViaCord facility. The family can access the stem cells at any time should they ever need them for treatment.
2. Why is cord blood banking a good thing?
- Because cord blood can be used in the treatment of over 80 life threatening disease states today.
- Cord blood is used in 22% of all transplants and over 50% of all pediatric transplants.
- Over 30,000 cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide. Basically, it has tremendous possibility to do a lot of good if your child needs it, if your child’s sibling needs it, or you, or your parent’s need it!
My family is plagued with autoimmune issues. Two of us have Type I diabetes, my mom has an autoimmune disorder that weakens muscles and skin, we all have hypothyroidism, and I have celiac disease. The chance of one of my 6 children ending up with an autoimmune disorder is high! You can pretty much bet money on it! So would it be worth banking my (in utero) child’s cord right now? The chances are that it would be! Cord blood stem cell research has come so far in the past 30 yrs.
3. How does this affect me?
That’s a good question. When making a decision about cord banking, you really have to look at your family history to decide what decisions you’re going to make. Does your family have a history of things that cord blood can possibly help with?
Here is a list of diseases (it’s LONG). Remember cord blood stem cells can be used in the treatment of nearly 80 diseases where you can find here. Aside from these diseases. research and some clinical trials are underway to try to find new medical applications for cord blood stem cells in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy and Juvenile Diabetes. Cord tissue stem cells, different than cord blood, also have scientists working hard to find medical applications in the areas of Sports Injuries (Cartilage), Lung Cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Liver Fibrosis.
When faced with the banking decision I think to myself, “what if they could help make autoimmune diseases less aggressive in 5 yrs. What if they could cure some of them in 20 yrs. What if they could cure all of them in 30 yrs? Would it help me? My children? My children’s children?”
Does it affect you? We can look at our family history, but there’s really no way to tell what will affect us in the future.
4. Is it affordable? I won’t lie. It’s a large expense, but in the big picture of things, so are disease states. Insurance, medical bills, treatments, are much more expensive than the cost of cord blood/tissue banking. As I mentioned before, I met with ViaCord over the past week. I was thoroughly impressed with what options they are providing to try to make this affordable for everyone. ViaCord recently cut their costs for banking by 40% to make it more affordable. At this point they do not even make much off of the banking process. Their company is interested in gaining ground in scientific research. ViaCord has the highest published treatment success rates out of any cord blood banking company. They have very affordable payment plan options, provide super easy direction on how to open a Cord Blood Gift Registry so familes and friends can help contribute to the cost, and a program with Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute called The Sibling Connection, which offers free cord banking to families with a child who has an established diagnosis of a disease that is currently treatable with sibling cord blood.
5. Common Misconceptions about cord blood banking
- That it is unethical — Many people hear the word “stem cell” now days and think we are talking about embryonic stem cells. Cord blood and tissue banking only takes stem cells from the umbilical cord, not an unborn fetus.
- It’s all about propaganda and making money — This is far from the truth. See #4 above titled “Is it affordable”.
- This doesn’t affect my family — You could be correct, your family may be very healthy, but most families have a genetic predisposition to an autoimmune problem or disease state that they are working on a treatment for through stem cell research, and once again, we never know what the future will hold.
- That every cord blood/tissue bank is the same — Many start up stem cell companies don’t make it. They eventually go out of business. Find a company that has been doing cord cell/tissue banking for a long time! I would also find a company that publishes their research (I know that ViaCord does), not every company does. I think it’s also worthwhile to find a company who teams up with other healthcare leaders. This is called the “Third Party Effect”. This enables the research and trails to be more open, more ethical, more transparent, and they have a better outcome based on better knowledge teams.
So what do you think?
I think it’s very interesting info!
Although ViaCord did compensate me for this post, I have to say, I think they are a very legit and transparent company. Transparent meaning they keep their studies and finding out in the open: they publish them.
I believe their mission is to provide the highest quality stem cell preservation service for patients, families, and their physicians. I don’t feel they are trying to rip you off. I think they are trying to be a company that changes our world’s rise of disease through an emerging scientific frontier.
(I had to share one pic of all of the bloggers during the cord blood lectures)
I hope this helped you wade through the weeds a little on this topic.
Click Here for other frequently asked questions.