“Working together to explore new uses for cord blood and cord tissue” ViaCord & Research Collaborations.
“This post is sponsored by ViaCord and BlogHer”
Recently, I attended a presentation on Cord blood stem cells research arranged by ViaCord. It was probably one of the most enlightening sessions I’ve attended to date. Even though I had a cursory knowledge of cord blood research, when I was pregnant with my twins, it was not a topic on my radar. So my answer would be “No!”, I was not familiar with both names. Did your ObGyn initiate a conversation about it when you were pregnant? Like many other moms, when I was pregnant, back in the early 1990s, I wasn’t aware of it and don’t recall it coming up in doctor visits with my ObGyn.
Granted, Cord Blood Banking was in its formative years and not every doctor knew enough to recommend it. I wish I knew then as I would have happily participated in it. The good thing about learning now is that I can inform other members of my large family, and even my own kids, so babies born within the family would benefit from this scientific breakthrough. By now, I bet you’d love to know more. Below are basic questions/answers to help you learn about it and make an informed decision when the time comes to have your baby.
What is Cord Blood?
As stated in ViaCord’s informational brochure, “Cord blood is the blood that remains in a newborn’s umbilical cord after birth, and the stem cells it contains have been used to help replace damaged blood cells with healthy ones, with the potential to strengthen the immune system.” So before your baby is born, you can discuss your options with your ObGyn, and give permission to collect this precious substance for your baby.
Who is ViaCord and what role do they play in disseminating information on Cord blood banking?
ViaCord is a well established and highly regarded private family cord blood bank that has, for over 20 years, provided families with high quality stem cell and tissue preservation service. As part of the PerkinElmer global company, which focuses on improving human and environmental health, ViaCord provides exceptional service and care to their patients, families, and their physicians. They collaborate with hospitals around the country, are dedicated to advancing studies on cord blood stem cells, and have the highest published treatment success rates out of any cord blood banking company. When you sign up with them you know you are in good hands.
“If one person reads our story and it gives them hope — if we inspire one person to hang on, then we’ve done something special.” The Byrd Family
Why do families choose to bank?
With over 30,000 cord blood cell transplants/treatments worldwide to date4, cord blood stem cells have been used in the treatment of nearly 80 diseases2 and remain the fastest growing source of stem cells in pediatric transplants; its use for the treatment of a growing range of diseases has doubled since 2007 and continues to grow. The research potential is also growing. Research shows that “both cord blood and cord tissue are great sources of stem cells, which have the ability to heal damaged cells, tissues, organs, blood and the immune system.”
Why should you choose to preserve your baby’s cord blood?
It makes sense that if you have your newborn baby’s cord blood banked, and you/your baby has a marker for any of the 80 diseases treated by it, down the road if your child develops any symptoms, that banked cord blood would be a life saver. To date, the potential for successful treatment for pediatric diseases from using the cord blood stem cells has grown. So your decision to preserve your child’s cord blood can one day save his/her life.
How Cord Blood Stem Cells Are Collected | ViaCord
How are Cord Blood Stem Cells collected?
Above is a video with Kate Falcon walking you through the steps on how it is collected. Some key points: the cord blood and cord tissue stem cells are collected at the time of your baby’s birth by your ObGyn or attending nurse and carefully packed, shipped and stored at a ViaCord facility. Your family has full access to the stem cells at anytime they need it for treatment, and the stored cells don’t expire. ViaCord has a special process they use that ensures your baby’s cord blood is not contaminated or misplaced.
What is the ViaCord Process?
At ViaCord, they take great pride in collecting, storing and caring for your baby’s stem cell. They provide a kit with an FDA approved bag to collect cord blood stem cells, then they pack it carefully and transport it, within 48 hours, to their laboratory in Hebron, KY. They use testing methods that are proven to be accurate and reliable to collect the stem cells; extracting stem cells from cord tissue before freezing. Their method saves 8 times the stem cells. Using a sophisticated freezer system, they have found their collections to be healthy even 25 years later. Whenever you are ready to use the stem cells, ViaCord is ready to move quickly to deliver it where needed.
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