UPDATE 7/3/16: Beginning now through the end of 2017, in addition to free storage credit for referrals, you can also earn giftcards! So sign up using my link below (to get your own free storage credit as well) and then start referring your friends!!
When I was in high school, my Chemistry AP teacher was expecting a baby. I have never heard of stem cells or the potential life saving benefit they have until she was close to giving birth. This was about 12 years ago. The technology and process was fairly new back then, but being in science, she had done a lot of research. She and her husband decided that it was worth the cost to potentially save their child's life.
After that, I decided when I was ready to have kids, I would definitely look in to cord blood banking to see how far it has come in that time. In 12 years, they have discovered treatments for over 80 diseases from cancer to immune disorders. And those are the ones they've successfully proven. There are hundreds of clinical trials going on right now to treat even more conditions like cerebral palsy, autism and brain injuries!
When I found this information, I knew there was no question that I wanted to save our baby's stem cells. But then the question was: how much is it? There are several well known places that collect and store stem cells. But which was the best? The prices were anywhere from $1800 - $2200, and then the yearly storage fee is around $125 - $130. I was offered a $400 discount for CBR through Whattoexpect.com, but then CBR actually sent me an offer for $500 due to my doctor. So their cost was $1500 for collection and processing and 1st year storage. That seemed like a pretty good risk of money for me. Think about it, over 18 years of my child's life, saving these stem cells will cost a total of $3705, which is $205/year or just over $17/month. How can you say no to that?
See the picture below about the process of cord blood collection, processing, and storage.
In addition to the discount, the other major factor in why we chose CBR over the other companies is that their storage location is in Arizona, where there are basically no natural disasters (a major reason I live in Arizona also!) - therefore, the cord blood has less chance of being destroyed. Other locations such as ViaCord or StemCyte, are stored in Kentucky (high tornado risk) and California (high earthquake risk), respectively.
If my baby ever got sick and there was proven uses or clinical trials using stem cells, and I HAD NOT saved her stem cells, I would not be able to live with myself. The overwhelming guilt would kill me. We actually know someone who's baby has suffered some brain damage (I will not go in to details about this), but there are trials and studies being done to reverse this brain damage. But unfortunately, they were not in the financial spot to save the baby's stem cells. I know everyone has their own views on what is important and what they can afford, but to me, this is priceless. I know they had to do what they had to do, but I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I was in that situation.
CBR actually offers a registry program also. So you can share your link with friends and family and they can donate money towards your collection and storage of the stem cells. I feel like more people should be aware of it - if more people knew about the registry, more people might sign up. Also, if you really cannot afford to bank your baby's stem cells, you can donate them. When you donate the stem cells, they can be used in a general bank or in trials for new uses. Again, no one knows about this.
So I'm writing this blog to inform everyone about the power newborn stem cells have to save lives. And not only their life, but they could potentially save siblings or other first or second degree relatives. If you are expecting a baby, I encourage you to research cord blood banking. If you have read enough and are ready to sign up, please use my referral link below. If you sign up through me, you and I both will receive a free year of storage.
Friday, June 13, 2014
Posted by Kristen at 9:47 AM