Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saving for a Rainy Day in Life

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It is not your everyday form of banking but is one that an increasing number of couples, particularly in WA, are undertaking on behalf of their children.
It can be done with a private or public bank and is a hedge against possible future health problems.
It is cord blood banking, in which a baby's umbilical cord blood is frozen and stored.
More than 41,000 Australians have opted for it.
According to Cell Care, the largest private cord blood bank in Australia, WA parents are embracing cord blood banking at a faster rate than their Eastern States counterparts.
More than one in five of parents banking with Cell Care is from WA, despite the State accounting for only 10 per cent of births in the nation.
About one per cent of Australian parents bank cord blood privately, totalling about 3500 banked samples a year from almost 296,000 births, compared with an estimated 5 per cent in the US and more than 20 per cent in Singapore and Korea. In all, 18,000 Australians have banked privately and 23,616 publicly.
Cord blood is a rich source of stemcells, the building blocks of all cells in the body, and of immune cells called regulatory T-cells, which help control the immune system and may have potential to treat immune disorders.
According to Cell Care, parents are increasingly choosing to bank their baby's cord blood if they have a family history of disease, have a baby of an ethnic minority or mixed ethnicity where there may be a greater difficulty finding a matched donor or for future regenerative medicine options.
In Australia, if banked privately - for a fee of about $3000 for 18 years storage - ownership and control of the cord blood can be retained.
If done for free through a public bank, it is available to any patient worldwide who is in need of a cord blood transplant. And, at present, there is no public bank in WA.
Cell Care medical director Mark Kirkland, who is an associate professor of research at Deakin University, said the rationale for public banks was that cord blood could be used to treat leukaemias, even in cases where the tissue type was not identical between donor and recipient. Cord blood transplants had lower incidences of rejection by the recipient and of graft versus host disease - in which the donated cells attack the recipient's cells.
Professor Kirkland said private banking was popular because it was still better to have a full match for a transplant.
Another area for cord blood use was regenerative medicine and cellular therapies, he said.
"My hope is that cord blood will turn out to have applications in a wide array of different situations," he said.
In Australia, cord blood stemcells are licensed for use only in transplant medicine to treat diseases such as leukaemia, other cancers and blood disorders, although samples have been released for regenerative medicine applications under an exemption from the regulator.
Conditions which might be treated by regenerative medicine include type 1 diabetes and cerebral palsy.
Like most parents, Pauline Goodreid is after peace of mind and has taken the step of banking cord blood to help achieve that. At the birth of each of her children, Halle and Clay, she had their cord blood saved and banked as a future source of vital stemcells.
Mrs Goodreid, 34, said although there was no history of serious illness in her family or that of her husband, Adrian, 40, they had used their baby bonus to pay for private cord blood banking through Cell Care.
"We had done a bit of reading and some friends had done it so it made us look into it further," she said. "It is not something you ever want to think about but I guess there is the potential to treat medical conditions if it should ever be needed for either of the kids. You do what you can to protect your children."
Mrs Goodreid said the banked frozen cord blood potentially could be used for her, Adrian and any future children.

I think that the cost to bank your baby's cord blood is mere pennies compared to the potential life-saving powers cord blood stem cells possess. My 2 children's lives are PRICELESS and banking both of their cord blood was the best decision I could have made as a parent. I hope the day never comes that those stem cells are needed but should that day arrive, I know they will be ready and waiting to battle some of the most devastating diseases that afflict the human race. I strongly urge that every expecting parent learn more about the life-saving potential that banking your baby's cord blood could offer as it may one day be the lifeline you need in your most desperate hour.............MrCordBlood


  1. The Best Guide To Cord Blood Banking

  2. Isn’t it amazing that you can store your own strong cells for future use may be after 5 or 10 years down the lane. With stem cell therapy it is possible to treat many chronic diseases with his/her own good cells that to without any side effect and at an affordable price.

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