Loving Letter from Doctor & Father of Three Kids
The following is a letter we received recently from Dr. Eric Callaghan, a practicing physician and father of three from Wisconsin.
Dr. Callaghan has kindly allowed us share his story. It demonstrates some of the common problems parents encounter today whether they are family banking or donating their child’s cord blood. At Save the Cord Foundation, we are working daily to help solve some of these issues through the education of health professionals and parents
Dear fellow parents and expectant parents,
As a physician and father to three young daughters, I am aware of the vast potential of cord blood. My wife and I have chosen to bank the cord blood of each of our daughters.
With our first two daughters (ages 10 and 7), we utilized private cord blood banking and were unaware of the option for public banking. With our third daughter, Grace (age 1), we became aware of the public option and in choosing such, we were hoping that someday the first act of our newborn’s life would be one of generosity and compassion.
After we made the decision to donate to a public bank, we had a difficult time finding a suitable company, since our hospital was not affiliated with a particular public cord blood bank. Our options were unfortunately limited; our obstetrics group was relatively unfamiliar with public options and procedures, and one of the companies we considered would not accept public cord blood donation if the baby was born during specific hours over the weekend.
We eventually chose a company who we were very happy with, but unfortunately the amount of cord blood which was obtained from our baby was relatively low and we are unsure if it was ever suitable for banking (or if it ended up being used for research or other purposes).
Dr. Callaghan chose a hybrid cord blood bank. Why?
Unfortunately, the majority of hospitals in the world do not offer a public donation program for cord blood. There are various reasons for this (awareness, costs, logistics…).
Dr. Callaghan and his wife were very passionate about wanting to donate their third child’s cord blood. They contacted a hybrid cord blood bank who was willing to collect cord blood donations at their hospital. Hybrid banks often fill the gap when a public program does not exist locally.
I am uncertain if the low yield of cord blood from Grace’s birth was inevitable, but I do not believe that our experience is unique as the company that we chose later ended up limiting their acceptance of cord blood donation to specific states, likely at least partially due to the inconsistencies in the amount of cord blood obtained from various hospitals and practices
Save the Cord Foundation is helping to spread the word about the vast benefits of cord blood banking. Increasing public and medical awareness of the benefits of public cord blood donation will save lives, as will increasing accessibility and options for public banking.
As a physician, I can tell you, the applicability of cord blood is increasing, but we need to ensure that couples and their obstetricians are aware of these benefits and have easy, convenient access to public banking.
If more parents knew that their child’s first act in the world would be in providing a life-saving cure for a specific disease, the results and impact could be exponential for patients and our entire medical community.
Eric Callaghan, MD
Putting our family first. . .
Dr. Callaghan is like many parents. He is a father who wants the best for his children. He is fortunate. He had access to information on cord blood and understood the potential life-saving benefits of this medical resource. He was able to make an educated decision — the best decision a father could make.
We are proud of you Dr. Callaghan. You were pro-active about the cord blood collection process for all of your children and now your story will help others. Thank you for writing to us.
Are you pregnant?
Are you wondering what the pros and cons are of either cord blood donation or family banking?
Watch this quick video to understand your options. Then, read about people whose lives have been saved thanks to cord blood:
You will agree… regardless of what others might say…cord blood has powerful healing powers and can help someone (maybe even your own child) if we just take a moment to save it.
Learn about your options here.