Stem Cells Controversy: Why the fuss?

Stem Cells Controversy: Why the fuss?

The media loves to talk about the “stem cells controversy.”  Stem cells are a critical to your health, located throughout your body, and routinely used in medicine so where’s the controversy?

During recent years, the term “stem cells” has been a hot topic in the media. The terminology is all very confusing and the articles are often misleading (even if they don’t mean to be). Unfortunately, this has left the general public scared of this term. “Stem cells” has become a dirty word. But, it should not be that way. So, why all the fuss?

Controversy in stem cell research and medicine can be reduced to a single issue: their source.  When stem cells are derived from embryos there are political, ethical, and religious concerns.  These stem cells are typically referred to as “embryonic stem cells.”  Other stem cells can come from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, and dental pulp to name a few and do not involve embryos at all.  These are considered “controversy free” stem cells.

Even in adults, stem cells are needed to continuously repair and replace tissues.  For example, your bone marrow produces red blood cells at a rate of about 2 million per second.  Blood cells (which carry oxygen around your body) become worn out and misshapen after about 115 days and need to be replaced by new cells generated within your bone marrow (source: US National Library of Medicine).  In addition, stem cells can be found throughout your body in areas such as fat, blood, skin, teeth, and many more.

Cord Blood is Non-Controversial Source of Stem Cells

Stem Cells: What is the controversy exactly?

Not only are many stem cells uncontroversial, they also can have life-saving benefits.  In particular, stem cells collected from cord blood collected at birth are a truly non-controversial source of stem cells and possess many unique qualities not found in stem cells from other sources. They are the best of the best!  When a parent chooses to donate or privately bank the umbilical cord blood, he/she is salvaging stem cells that could be used to treat diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell anemia.

Umbilical Cord Blood Basics:

Clearly stem cells are integral to your health.  This is why umbilical cord blood is such a powerful treatment and continues to offer hope and ground-breaking solutions in healthcare and medicine.  When you consider donating or privately banking your umbilical cord blood, understand that this is a controversy-free source of stem cells that would otherwise be discarded as medical waste.

Our mission at Save the Cord Foundation is to educate parents about this valuable resource.  We promote cord blood education and awareness to all. We distribute unbiased, factual information concerning the benefits of cord blood stem cells with the goal of preserving this valuable resource.

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What options do you have as a parent for saving your newborn’s cord blood? Essentially you can choose between public donation or private banking; however, you may need to call on a hybrid bank to help with a donation if your local hospital does not partner with a public cord bank. Learn more here.

Are you ready to choose a bank or donation hospital? Use our interactive map to find one near you.

 

 

We wish to thank Bryanne Wadington for her valuable contributions to this article.

LA Times Article Reaches Parents with Key Cord Blood Information

LA Times Article Reaches Parents with Key Cord Blood Information

Save the Cord Foundation was recently asked to contribute an important article on key cord blood information to be included in the August edition of the LA Times “Journey to Parenthood” section.  This important publication was made available in both print and digital versions reaching a huge audience of parents, just like you!

Everyday we meet people who have not heard about how cord blood is saving lives now — today. The first response is usually “Really? I thought it was still under research.”  Imagine their surprise when we start telling them that we know people (lots of people) whose lives have been saved thanks to cord blood treatments and therapies! And, yes, there is still research being done. . . lots of it, because we have only scratched the surface on what is possible with cord blood.  Today, there are over 70+ different diseases being treated with cord blood (update: in fact the official number of diseases has increased recently to over 80!). Can you name a few? We can. . . .leukemia, sickle cell anemia, various immunodeficiences like Wiskott-Aldrish syndrome, the list goes on.

Cord Blood - LA Times - Journey to Parenthood

See those 2 little boys? Cord blood changed their lives.

Reaching parents with key cord blood information is always our number one goal. However, telling the individual story of someone’s life and how cord blood helped them is worth 10 stacks of medical journals on the stuff! It all gets very technical, very fast. To hear the stories of a little boy like Noah, who received a donated cord blood and fought myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or Luke, who suffered from cerebral palsy and used his own cord blood to treat it. . .that is amazing!

You can read the full article here as it was posted in the LA Times for their Journey to Parenthood section (August 2015): Cord Blood: Providing Hope and Life Lines

Another reason that this article is so important. . . it shows two different cases:

  1. a child helped by donated cord blood (Public Donation)
  2. a child helped by his own cord blood (Private Banking)

These stories illustrate the point perfectly that, indeed, the world needs both publicly donated cord blood and privately banked cord blood. You, the parent, can look at both options and make the choice that best suits your needs. Neither is a bad choice and some parents opt to do both — public donation for one child and private banking for the other. Wonderful!

Learn more about Noah’s story here: Umbilical Cord Blood Donation Success Story

Learn more about Luke’s story here:  Importance of Private Banking

The point here is always the same. As a parent, you need to learn about this. Find out what your options are. Decide what is best for you. Then, proactively make that happen. Just please don’t sit idle or else your child’s cord blood will just be thrown away without a second thought.

Read more Real Stories from parents who donated, families who received donations and those who chose private banking.

Get Social!  Please do your part to support cord blood education by sharing this article and our website with the other parents you know. They deserve to know their options too.

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Save the Cord Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit with a global voice teaching parents about cord blood. Want to help us? We always need donations and volunteers. Get involved today!

 

Cord Blood Fact : OB/GYN has Key Role

Cord Blood Fact : OB/GYN has Key Role

Cord Blood Fact : The OB/GYN has a key role in helping parents decide if and how to store their baby’s cord blood.

Cord blood collection is still only practiced in small numbers, yet more and more patients are looking for a cord blood match — public banks need your donations.  For certain illnesses, your own cord blood or that of a family member is best — private banking may be a good option for you. The world needs both. But, how can you, the parent, choose? Who can give you the best information?

Most parents count on their obstetrician to guide them and usually that is a good choice. However, despite their best intentions, in some cases your obstetrician may not be aware of the latest developments in cord blood collection and usage.  Cord blood usage, research and collection options are changing daily at a very rapid pace.  This is great news but it also makes it almost impossible to keep up. But, don’t let the newness of the topic lead you to doing nothing for your child. If you do nothing, when your baby is born another cord will just be thrown away as medical waste when it could be used to help someone.  That someone could be a stranger thousands of miles away or that someone could be someone in your family.  Today, cord blood stem cells are being used to treat numerous diseases.

The truth is . . . it takes everyone and especially parents who ask good questions, research their options and insist on having their choice respected–all while keeping the health of the baby and mother as the top priority.

At Save the Cord Foundation, we know first hand how difficult it is for parents to get the information and support they need. Our partners at BioInformant ( @StemCellMarket )also know and have compiled a series cord blood facts that remind us just how important cord blood education is to all of us. Each week we will be releasing a cord blood fact and we encourage you to read these, take a moment to think about how our world is changing and then share the fact with parents and medical professionals to show your support for cord blood education.

THIS WEEK’S CORD BLOOD FACT:

Cord Blood Fact : OB/GYN has Key Role

OB/GYN has Key Role in Cord Blood Education (Source: BioInformant)

 

Expecting a baby?  Are you getting the best information you need to make an informed decision?  Get a free guide to cord blood by registering for our free baby registry. You will also get a free 1-year subscription to Pregnancy Magazine, free baby shower invitations and access to other offers.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @SaveTheCord

Share this info directly on Facebook: http://fb.me/4FAZxFWCg

 

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Thank you to BioInformant for their on-going support for cord blood education. 

Bioinformant - Partner in Cord Blood Education

 

Bipartisan Support for National Cord Blood Inventory

Bipartisan Support for National Cord Blood Inventory

Vital legislation is getting bipartisan support for National Cord Blood Inventory to reauthorize funding for cord blood and bone marrow programs for an additional 5 years. 


UPDATE: THIS IS COMING TO VOTE IN THE US HOUSE ON TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 8th!!! PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT.  

FOLLOW THE PROGRESS HERE: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2820

Bipartisan Support for National Cord Blood Inventory

Cord Blood is a Vital Natural Resource

As an expectant parent, you need to understand what policies and facilities are being put in place right now having a direct effect on the medical future of you and your child.

Did you realize that a national public cord blood bank already exists in the USA ? It is called the National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI). It is administered by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)–the same people who run “Be the Match” and one of our partners in cord blood education. Over 30 years old, the NMDP now manages a registry of 11 million adult volunteer bone marrow donors and 193,000 donated cord blood units. Through their international network they have access worldwide to even more–because, as the name suggests, bone marrow and cord blood BOTH need to be MATCHED to the recipient. These cord blood donations have already been used in marvelous ways (learn about the diseases treated with cord blood).

Did you realize that current government funding and policies are not sufficient for the growing needs of the cord blood community?  Because of the MATCHING required for cord blood transplants, it is vitally important that our National Cord Blood Inventory represent a large quantity of donors and, even more importantly, a broad range of ethnic groups. To build a high-quality bank, the NCBI need donors — the right policies will help us get those donors, especially donors from diverse ethnic backgrounds. However, to properly save these cord blood donations the NCBI needs money — the right priorities in government will ensure that these programs get the funding they need.

Recently, Cord Blood Association President Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg and NMDP Chief Executive Officer Jeff Chell both testified before the House in support of re-authorizing the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Re-authorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2820).  According to the article recently published by the Cord Blood Association (read the full article here). . .

H.R. 2820 was introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Doris Matsui (D-CA). It would authorize $23 million per year for the National Cord Blood Inventory from 2016 through 2020, and $30 million per year for the C.W. Bill Young Transplant Program over those same years. CBA leaders are working with members of the Senate to ensure that similar legislation is introduced in that chamber in the near future.

The fact that this legislation has bipartisan support for the National Cord Blood Inventory demonstrates how non-controversial cord blood actually is. . . as the Cord Blood Association reminds us on their website, “Cord blood biology recognizes no political boundaries.”  Cord blood is matched to recipients worldwide and shipped internationally everyday to help people get the treatment they need. However, this is not done without difficulty and Dr. Kurtzberg also spoke about the need for policy change regarding the difficulty in opening public cord blood banks saying. . .

“The process of obtaining and maintaining a license has been challenging for the public banks to date,” Dr. Kurtzberg said. “Many of the regulations, created for drug manufacturing, are not easily applied to manufacturing of cord blood units.”

Indeed, it is time for change. We are in a privileged position as adults to really make a difference for the next generation. We need to lay the groundwork now in governments around the world to make sure that the right policies and funding are put in place as well as supported on a routine basis — making the preservation of cord blood a new standard of care for all parents.

Would you like to show your support for this legislation?  Please write your representative.

Do you have questions about donating cord blood? Follow our step-by-step guide on cord blood.

Save the Cord Foundation is a proud member of the Cord Blood Association

Cord Blood Association

Source: Cord Blood Association

8 Quick Facts about Cord Blood

8 Quick Facts about Cord Blood

This week:  8 Quick Facts about Cord Blood Awareness

brought to you by the Cord Blood Awareness Campaign with BioInformant

Save the Cord Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to cord blood banking awareness and education, and BioInformant Worldwide, LLC, a research firm specializing in the cord blood industry, partnered to launch an awareness campaign called “Cord Blood Banking Awareness: Educating America and the World.”

Click here to learn 8 Quick Facts about Cord Blood:

The Weekly Cord Blood Banking Awareness Fact Campaign

Cord Blood Awareness Fact 1

Cord Blood Awareness Fact 1

Cord Blood Awareness Fact 2

Cord Blood Awareness Fact 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The campaign is a global effort that will educate currently expecting parents, as well as future parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends, about the medical benefits of cord blood preservation. The campaign will involve distribution of weekly facts about cord blood banking awareness, as well as distribution of media content and videos sharing factual information about cord blood banking awareness rates in the U.S. and other countries worldwide.

Save The Cord Foundation will be releasing one fact every Wednesday and they will also be shared on BioInformant’s social media platforms.

You can view the weekly facts here:

Twitter: @SaveTheCord and @StemCellMarket
LinkedIn: BioInformant
Facebook: SaveTheCord

Save The Cord Foundation would like to thank BioInformant for their support and partnership in cord blood advocacy and education.

About Save the Cord Foundation

Save the Cord Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, was established to promote awareness of the life-saving benefits of cord blood based on unbiased and factual information. The Foundation educates parents, health professionals and the general public about the need to preserve this valuable medical resource while providing information on both public cord blood donation programs and family cord blood banks worldwide.

Support Save the Cord Foundation

Our mission depends on supporters like you. Please support our cause by making a donation or promoting our website and message where you can. We appreciate all the support!
(We NEVER ask for cash donations. Online donations are easier and safer. Thank you.)

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