Next Biosciences partners with Save the Cord Foundation
Are you thinking about saving your baby’s cord blood but feel like you need more information? Consider this. . . It is a fact that cord blood stem cells are currently being used to treat 80+ diseases including many blood cancers like leukaemia and lymphoma. Did you know that cord blood stem cells are also showing tremendous promise in treating things like cerebral palsy, autism and perinatal stroke? We realize that this sounds too good to be true. And yet, we have met people whose lives have been changed thanks to cord blood.
We are Save the Cord Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit focused on cord blood education around the world. We reach out to parents, the general public and, of course, the medical community every day to educate them on the latest advances in cord blood uses and research. We also help to connect expectant parents with donation programs and/or family cord blood banks worldwide. Many find it hard to believe that there have been over 35,000 cord blood transplants worldwide since the first cord blood transplant was performed by Dr. Elain Gluckman in France in 1988. Others find it even harder to believe that this natural medical resource which is thrown away in more than 95% of births (higher in some countries) is something that could help your own child, a member of your own family or perhaps even a stranger.
Once thought of as experimental, cord blood stem cells are now becoming a common source of non-controversial stem cells for many blood cancers like leukaemia and lymphoma. Cord blood stem cells are also commonly used to treat sickle cell anaemia. Indeed, this is no longer science-fiction. We are talking about more than 35,000 cord blood transplants that have helped both children and adults with a variety of diseases. It is real and it has been happening for years. Yet, we are just starting to scratch the surface of what these powerful stem cells can do!
Today, in addition to the 80+ diseases for which cord blood is used, there are numerous clinical trials underway using cord blood to potentially treat things like acquired hearing loss, cerebral palsy, perinatal stroke, autism, HIV and much more. It is exciting science that is quickly becoming applicable medicine for the general population. It is clear that today’s children will grow up to live in a world where cord blood transplants are common place whether to treat life-threatening diseases or to treat serious injuries. We believe firmly that parents need to understand the latest developments in medicine in order to make good choices for their family today. . . choices that could determine their future. You deserve to know.
At Save the Cord Foundation, we have had the honor of hosting many of today’s great minds in cord blood research:
- Joanne Kurtzberg from Duke University spoke about her on-going research using cord blood to help the brain (namely to potentially treat in babies with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and in young children with cerebral palsy, congenital hydrocephalus and autism.)
- James Baumgartner, Surgical Director of the Comprehensive Pediatric Epilepsy Center at the Florida Hospital for Children, spoke about his research using cord blood to treat acquire hearing loss and perinatal stroke.
- Curtis Cetrulo Sr, Former Professor OB/GYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine Tufts University School of Medicine, spoke about new applications of cord blood with regards to heart attacks, brain development and regenerative medicine.
The list will continue to grow because doctors and scientists are seeing the potential of cord blood stem cells. They are more primitive (thus easier to adapt) than adult stem cells that are found in bone marrow for example. Collection of cord blood stem cells does not harm the mother or child since it is done post-birth. Stem cells from cord blood are a non-controversial source of stem cells (please do not confuse these stem cells with those called “embryonic stem cells” taken from human embryos). Stem cells from cord blood are more resistant to infection and thus have fewer side effects and require fewer transplant drugs than bone marrow. Cord blood has a broader match potential than bone marrow, which means that the patient and donor do not have to be a “perfect match.” Unlike bone marrow, cord blood is readily available when needed, if collected and banked properly at birth (see more cord blood facts here).
So why should you save your baby’s cord blood? We can give you 80+ reasons! All you need to do is meet someone like Luke Fryar, Noah Swanson or Dylan Praskins who has been helped by a cord blood transplant and you will see why we consider it such a valuable resource.
Please don’t throw your baby’s cord blood away. You do have options. You are creating life. Feel empowered and be pro-active. Talk with your doctors about either privately banking your baby’s cord blood or participating in innovative programs like the “Families of Hope” CSI Programme at Next BioSciences that helps needy families with a child in need of a stem cell transplant. There is not a bad choice. However, if you choose to do nothing, your child’s cord blood will be thrown away. . . simply thrown away as medical waste.
Give life twice. #SAVETHECORD
Learn more about Save the Cord Foundation