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Monday, August 29, 2011

Cord Blood Banking...

I had a comment on this today, as to my thoughts and opinions on Cord Blood and banking and/or donating. It is funny the timing of the comment made, as I was just filling out our paper work and was going to blog this topic in an upcoming post.

I find Cord Blood Banking to be a very personal choice and topic. There are many aspects that go into making the decision to do or not to do this.
I have been speaking with a few pregnant friends lately on this topic, and all with varying thoughts and opinions.
Reasons differ from cost to religious reasons and views. In speaking with them on their reasons to mine, I realized how truly personal the banking process is. It is a decision that you make for your family either way.

For us, the decision was an easy one. We made it approximately three and a half years ago, before the arrival of our first child, Kai.
I look at Cord Blood Banking a little like Insurance if you will. I feel, that if we ever needed it (god forbid), and we decided against the process, then I would not be able to let go of the "what if" and possibility of having it. With banking our children's cord blood, our babies have the Stem Cells available to them if ever need.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with cord blood banking, there are MANY great resources out there that give you much information on the positives and negatives of it.

A quick overview of Cord Blood:

"the umbilical cord blood is now proven to be rich in adult stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells are the adult stem cells responsible for the creation of all blood cells in the human body. Through transplantation, hematopoietic stem cells are capable of regenerating bone marrow and immune systems destroyed by invasive treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. Stem cell transplants have been successful in the treatment of many life-threatening conditions including cancer, leukemia, sickle cell disease, various forms of anemia and severe combined immunodeficiency." www.lifebank.com

The list of what cord blood stem cells are able to help with continues to grow as medical research continues to break new ground.

As for the costs related to Cord Blood Banking, I completely understand and acknowledge that this is something that weighs heavily on the decision to do so or not. Simply put, the cost to initially bank is the expensive part, and not all can fit it into the budget. Along with a new baby there are never-ending expenses: cribs, clothes, diapers, car seats, strollers, bottles, food... Some have a hard time accepting cord blood banking to be a part of the general costs of children. It is a choice. Your choice. And that choice has to sit right with you.
For us, yes the cost is steep...where we store it is a little under $1000 for the initial fee. This includes registration, the kit, collection, processing of the cord blood and the first years storage. From there, you are able to choose options...and annual fee of $125 or a one time payment of $1800 for 18 years. In all, the fee you have to bite the bullet on is the initial fee...as the annual fee of $125 doesn't seem as steep when you look at it in the form of $10.41/month.

To us, again, back to the Insurance plan... you buy the toys, the clothes, the "stuff." All the "stuff" that eventually gets tossed or handed down. So why not look at Cord Blood Banking in the same way you do many other baby items...a necessity. Obviously, it is a gamble. If you don't need it then you have lost $1000... to me a good gamble as it is also your child's life. There is a gamble with doing it as well, who is to say if you DO need it, that it will guarantee a fix... it doesn't come with a guarantee. That is why this choice is personal.
But for us, it comes with a glimmer of hope in a dark time if there ever is one. And I hope there never is one. I would give anything for our children. And this is just a very small tocken.

Please do your own research on Cord Blood Banking. There are many resources out there. The decision is yours. Our decision to do so is ours. This is my opinion and it is not meant to pose judgment on anyone who is reading this. I would love to learn more about everyones thoughts on this process and why you choose or choose not to do so.
Like in raising children, there is no right or wrong way, we just do our best with the knowledge we are given.

There is another aspect to Cord Blood Banking, and it is that of Public Blood Banks. If you choose not to bank your babies cord blood, instead of it going to waste, some choose to donate it to Public Banks. This is another option as if you ever needed a potential match, this is where it may possibly come from. This is such a broad topic and I am not even going to attempt going in to this. I am stating my personal thoughts and that alone. Again, my thoughts, nothing personal to anyone out there! I have included a link to a public site that offers a wealth of information on banking in general, along with the public aspect of it.

A few sites and resources on the topic:

Public Cord Blood Banks

"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children."

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