Stem cell storage – a potential lifesaver

Umbilical cord blood and tissue are touted as the ‘holy grail’ of stem cell therapy and research. Wellington mother, Luisa, takes comfort in knowing she can access a potentially life-saving treatment for her family.

Luisa was pregnant with her second child when she discovered the possibility of storing cord blood. Cord blood and cord tissue are rich in powerful stem cells and can only be collected at birth for potential future use.  

Stem cell-based treatments are approved for a wide range of diseases and conditions including various cancers, blood, immune and metabolic disorders. The number of conditions treatable with cord blood is increasing exponentially as scientists learn more about the therapeutic potential. 

Following extensive research into cord blood banking, Luisa discovered Cell Care, a new storage service that had just launched in New Zealand. Cell Care is one of the largest and most experienced cord blood and tissue banks in the world, with a reputation built on their strong customer service, innovation and involvement in research and education.

“I felt Cell Care’s storage facilities and technology were bigger, better and more advanced than other services available. And as a multinational company, it would be easier to access the stored cells anywhere in the world.”

Another big drawcard for Luisa was the ability to store both cord blood and cord tissue. Cord tissue storage has not previously been available in New Zealand, with Cell Care being the first company to introduce this service. Cord tissue banking sees a small segment of the baby’s umbilical cord stored. The umbilical cord is a rich source of cells that are absent in cord blood. These multipotent cells have the ability to regenerate and differentiate into a myriad of different cells such as cartilage, bone, fat and muscle.

Ultimately, Luisa’s decision to bank her second child’s cord blood and tissue was to give her family an extra safety net for the future. “It’s having that extra security around the health of my children and family. I wish I had known about stem cell banking when I was pregnant with my first.”

cellcare.co.nz

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SIDS and Kids New Zealand is dedicated to saving the lives of babies and children during pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood and supporting bereaved families. The organisation delivers on its vision through world-class research, evidence-based education and bereavement support, and advocacy.

Remind everyone who cares for your child:

  • Sleep baby on their back
  • Keep head and face uncovered
  • Keep baby smoke-free before and after birth
  • Safe sleeping environment night and day
  • Sleep baby in a safe cot in parents’ room

SIDS and Kids provides a range of safe sleeping education and support services as well as a national 24-hour sudden infant death helpline 

0800 164 455 / sidsandkids.org.nz