Image: The Welch Family
What is cord blood banking? Who can use cord blood? Which company do we choose? Many expectant parents are plagued with similar types of questions. They may have heard about the benefits of cord blood banking but don’t know what aspects to consider or where to find answers on the topic. We feel it’s important for all parents-to-be to know their options regarding their babies’ umbilical cord stem cells and hear from other parents about their banking journeys. That’s why, in honor of Cord Blood Awareness Month, we have launched our weekly Instagram Live series to answer the questions expectant are asking!
During our recent Cryo-Cell Chats series, we were able to sit down with Michael and Samantha Welch to discuss their reasons for storing their baby, Vanessa’s umbilical cord blood stem cells with us. They shared their personal experience with cord blood banking and the unique perspective on the topic as expectant parents, and now, as new parents. We hope that their story will help inspire and educate other expectant families to take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to store their baby’s umbilical cord-derived stem cells.
Question: Can you share about your family and how you learned about cord blood stem cells?
It’s something we’ve always been interested in because I work in the medical field myself and had done some research. Mike knew quite a bit about it from his mother being a cord blood educator. We were happy to go through the process and had a really good experience with it.
Many parents learn about cord blood banking through their OBGYNs. Thirty-one states have adopted cord blood education mandates. Learn more here.
Question: What was your perception about cord blood banking as expectant parents?
Growing up with my mother in the field and hearing about it, the science side of it fascinated me. There is so much potential with the stem cells that isn’t yet unlocked for future treatments, in addition to what’s around now. It’s a smart investment in our daughter’s future because the possibilities are endless at this point. The flexibility of just knowing her stem cells are banked was an easy decision that made sense to me.
There’s so much research being done, and it seems like the possibilities will continue growing.
Learn about the many benefits of banking your baby’s umbilical cord blood.
Question: Did your family history influence your decision to cord blood bank?
My grandfather had Parkinson’s disease later in life, which was difficult for all of us the past ten years; before passing away a few years ago. That aspect really hit home for me- knowing that cord blood stem cells could be a promising treatment for that condition. Looking at other genetic markers, such as heart disease and other things that run in my family, having the peace of mind or “insurance” of knowing that whatever may come from using the stem cells, they are banked and available makes me feel very good.
I would also say working in the medical field as a dietician; specifically, when I worked home care, I would see so many patients in the homebound population with many chronic conditions that we were working as a team to manage at that point. I just think to myself, what if there was some kind of treatment for these conditions using stem cells? That would be amazing!
Learn more about the 80 diseases for which cord blood is an FDA-approved treatment and how our infusion clinic's upcoming arrival will provide families with treatment options for conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions.
Question: How was the process of collecting at the hospital? How did it go, and did a COVID pregnancy make it any more complicated?
No. It was very easy and such a seamless process! We brought the collection kit; they drew some blood in the beginning when I arrived. After I gave birth and they did the stem cell collection, Mike called for the kit pickup.
I communicated with the nurses our plan to bank, and it was nothing new to them; they understood the process. Once the nurses collected, it was a simple phone call, and pickup happened within a few hours.
Learn more about our advanced collection kit, an integral part of our smooth and straightforward banking process.
Question: What aspect of banking with Cryo-Cell did you appreciate the most?
I appreciated that the process was so simple. Any time I had a question, it was easy to get in touch with someone. I feel like everyone was very personable, and I felt very comfortable with it.
I appreciated the conversations about the facility and how the cells were stored. As an engineer, I appreciate this critical infrastructure, so where they’re stored and how they’re certified was important. These stem cells are stored in very cold temperatures, and ample power is needed, so I appreciate Cryo-Cell’s attention to preservation. If they’re not stored properly, you can’t use them.
Learn more about our state-of-the-art storage facility and the measures we take to ensure a 100% specimen viability rate.
Question: What advice would you give expectant parents who are thinking about cord blood banking (looking back as a parent now)?
I’m glad we did it. It gives us peace of mind, especially as a first-time parent who was pregnant during COVID- it was important to me.
As a numbers guy, I look at things like value and return on our investment. I’m still quite surprised about the affordability of it. The affordability of banking and level of service yield very high value for what you can get on the backend. If you have a current genetic disease or a condition that can be treated in the future using cord blood, I’m not sure how you can put a price on your child’s health. If we have a second child, it’s not even a question that we will bank again.
Genetically related stem cells from a blood-related family member often result in better treatment outcomes. Learn more about who can use your baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells.
View the entire interview episode here:
Image: Interview Story
The Welch family is just one of many who have made the decision to protect what matters most through cord blood banking. Hear from other parents just like them and be sure also to check out Christina Andrade’s story of cord blood banking and about the "superpower" each expectant woman has to, potentially, give life twice!
View Christina’s story here:
Image: A Story of Cord Blood Banking
Are you interested in learning more about cord blood banking? We’d love for you to join us for one of our upcoming virtual seminars!