A Labor of Love

A Labor of Love

When our son, Patrick, was two years old, he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Therapists frequently tell me that he is the hardest worker they have had. He is very determined. As his parents, we are determined to try everything possible to help both of our boys succeed. When Patrick was three, we discovered that we were expecting another baby. My mother, who is a midwife, asked me if I was going to bank this child’s cord blood. She had attended a continuing education seminar that had talked about the benefits of cord blood banking and how they are doing a lot of research on using stem cells to treat Cerebral Palsy. We decided as a family to bank our 3rd child’s umbilical cord blood stem cells with Cryo-Cell International in the hope that they may eventually be able to be used for Patrick.

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How Long Can Cord Blood Stem Cells be Stored?

How Long Can Cord Blood Stem Cells be Stored?

How long can cord blood be stored is toward the top of our list of frequently asked cord blood questions. As parents want to make sure they are investing in a product with a long shelf life, it is an understandable question to have. As cord blood banking is 27 years young, data on the use of cord blood in transfusions are limited, but from what research has shown, the length of cryo-preservation has no affect on the quality and viability of cord blood collections.


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Family Banks all Five of their Children’s Cord Blood with Cryo-Cell International

Family Banks all Five of their Children’s Cord Blood with Cryo-Cell International

In this month of March Madness, when people around the country are crazed with their office pools and cheering on their college alma maters, I met up with a very special, five-person team who’ve been playing together their whole lives. 

The team is from Ecuador and its players range in age from nine to just shy of a month old. It’s a very progressive group, allowing 3 girls (Isabella, Stella and Amanda) and 2 boys (Juan Diego and Joaquin Andres) to play together at every position. These are the Baquerizo children, and they are part of team Cryo-Cell International.
 

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It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

When it comes to parenting, there is no shortage of judging; in fact the judging and unsolicited opinion- giving starts when the first person recognizes you’re pregnant and it continues through delivery, child-rearing and even how to deal with your empty nest when the kids are all grown up! This reality is at every bend, we have choices, multiple choices, and sometimes the abundance of choices are confusing.

When it comes to cord blood banking, we try to make the choice clear. The decision to bank cord blood is one of the most important decisions a parent will make before their baby is born. As one of our cord blood educators just expressed to a parent, “I consider this my mission in life to make sure parents are educated fully about cord blood and cord tissue preservation.” You are collecting your baby’s master stem cells that can possibly be used to treat over 80 diseases today and probably many more in the future. Your baby’s stem cells will serve as a repair kit for your baby throughout their life as we move more into regenerative medicine.
 

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Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday

After this past summer’s ALS ice-bucket challenge took the world by storm, many more people than ever are aware of this fatal neurodegenerative disease. According to the ALS Association, the effort resulted in raising over $100 million, an astonishing 3500% increase over the year before, for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, named for the famed NY Yankees first baseman who succumbed to ALS just shy of his 38th birthday. The challenge raised not just money but visibility to help find treatments and a cure for ALS.

Research shows that professional football players may be at a higher risk of death from diseases that damage the cells in the brain, such as Alzheimer’s and ALS compared to the general U.S. population. A study of 3,439 players with an average age of 57 from the National Football League with at least five playing seasons from 1959-1988, found that professional football players were three times more likely to die as a result of diseases that damage brain cells compared to the general population. A player’s risk of death from Alzheimer’s disease or ALS was almost four times higher than the general population[i]
 
[i]“Study Shows NFL Players Four Times More Likely to Die from ALS; NFL Donates $30 Million to NIH for Research on Brain Injuries.” – The ALS Association. N.p., 5 Sept. 2012. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. The original study appeared in the online edition of Neurology.
 

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Any Given Sunday

Any Given Sunday

Deflate-gate notwithstanding, an estimated 100 million plus viewers will tune it to see the 49th Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 1. However, most may not be aware of the strides being made off the field in terms of stem cell treatments for sports-related injuries.

Reports of high-profile athletes undergoing stem cell procedures have garnered lots of publicity. But the reality is the role of regenerative medicine in the treatment of sports-related injuries is steadily gaining traction. For good reason. 

There are more than 772 adult stem cell clinical trials approved by the US Food and Drug Administration that are currently being conducted and many of them involve investigations of relevance to injuries of bone, cartilage, tendons or skeletal muscle, therefore having implications for sports-related injuries.
 
 

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Sibling’s Cord Blood May Stop Disease in its Tracks

Sibling’s Cord Blood May Stop Disease in its Tracks

Imagine that, despite a baby being born with a rare and often fatal disease, the cure was born previously with the baby’s sibling.

Hurler syndrome is an inherited disorder where a child has a deficiency of a key enzyme needed to break down complex sugars (called glycosminoglycans.) The buildup of sugar results in progressive organ deterioration and ultimately, death in childhood. The symptoms may only appear after age 3 and after the brain has already undergone damage.

According to a study published in the Annals of Neurology, treatment of Hurler syndrome with umbilical cord blood transplantation before 9 months of age leads to normal cognitive development.  Early transplantation also predicted better outcomes for language skills and adaptive behaviors.  More specifically, children transplanted at 12-25 months of age functioned cognitively at a level 2 to 5.3 years below that of those transplanted at 4 months.
 
 

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Healthy Family History: Bank your baby’s cord blood stem cells

Healthy Family History: Bank your baby’s cord blood stem cells

When I was pregnant 26 years ago before cord blood education was even required, my obstetrician asked me if there was any family history of disease or disorder that I was concerned about. Of course, 26 years ago my parents were in their mid-60s, very healthy and with a normal health history. There seemed no reason for me to have any worries about the baby I was preparing for. I answered the question without hesitation: No, nothing to note.

I gave birth to two more children and the question kept coming up during my prenatal visits, and the answer remained the same. My parents were still healthy, and my great grandmother even lived until 106.

Then, after my third child was born my family’s health history changed forever.
 

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Regenerative Therapies and Cerebral Palsy

Regenerative Therapies and Cerebral Palsy

My name is Justin Fuller and I am a Senior Client Coordinator and Training Coordinator at Cryo-Cell International.  I have been involved in the cord blood banking industry since 2008, and have seen it progress dramatically over the past several years; especially with regenerative therapies such as cerebral palsy.

My older sister was born with cerebral palsy, the leading disease that cord blood stem cells have been used to help treat for the past 20 years.  She struggled when we were in childhood to do many of the simple things that other children took for granted, and many times all I wished I could do was change that.

I may not have been able to reverse her diagnosis, but I was able to do the next best thing.  Educate her on the one time opportunity to capture lifesaving cord blood stem cells that could be used to help safeguard her family and two sons. 

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Our commitment to quality

Our commitment to quality

The ultimate goal of all cord blood banks when processing is to get the most cord blood stem cells possible that will work when needed. To achieve this goal there are many steps that come prior to that final cord blood stem cell collection going into the freezer.  Collection, transportation, processing, freezing and storing all contribute to the overall quality of the cord blood product. Any one of these steps, if not done correctly, could result in a once in a lifetime collection being unusable.

Our commitment to quality shows in Cryo-Cell’s choosing to follow the Quality Standards of AABB, FACT and ISO 9001. To us, this means that we go through rigorous evaluations of our quality system (audits) by the best people in our field to ensure that we are applying the most up to date quality procedures.
 
 

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