Should I collect stem cells at birth of my child?

"Should I collect stem cells at birth of my child?" This was the question for which Matthew Farrow's mother in 1988 answered YES, for the first time worldwide.

First successful story of an umbilical cord blood transplantation 

Matthew's story, a 5 year old boy diagnosed with a severe form of inherited anemia (Fanconi Anemia) is the story of the first successful umbilical cord blood transplant performed by Prof. Dr. Eliane Gluckman, at Saint Louis Hospital in Paris.

The umbilical cord blood was collected at the birth of his sister, at the proposal of American research team led by Hal E. Broxmeyer, who has proven the presence of progenitor and hematopoietic stem cells and their potential to be used for transplants.

The visionary of these doctors and the family support meant for Matthew the chance to a normal life. At 26 years after transplantation, he is a young healthy adult, with a normal functional bone marrow. Based on transplanted stem cells from his sister, Matthew's immunity and production of all types of blood cells (hematopoiesis) were completely and consistently restored.

This event marked the beginning of a new chapter in the field of hematopoietic (blood forming) stem cell transplantation and the cord blood banking.

Umbilical cord blood transplantation 

More than 35,000 cord blood units  were used worldwide for transplants in children and adults with serious illnesses.

This represents the best confirmation of the therapeutic value of cord blood units, positioning them alongside with bone marrow and peripheral blood, as currently accepted stem cells sources. Furthermore,  deepening of knowledge about particularities of these cells has opened new perspectives for therapeutic use in the new field of regenerative medicine, the chapter dedicated to umbilical cord blood being still open to new  information provided by the emerging field of clinical research.

Knowledge means an informed decision

In conclusion, before you deciding "whether or not, to collect stem cells at birth of my child" it would be helpful for you to take the time for gathering correct information about current and prospective therapeutic value of umbilical cord blood.

Only thus you will be able to eliminate any of the confusions generated by questions like: " is it worth it? "could happen something wrong to my child?" "what are the clinical uses of the stem cells?" "to whom?"  "But what would happen if"...or by the many information and opinions, more or less from competent sources,  available on internet

One of the expressions used frequently in our modern society "Knowledge Means Power" in the context of this topic could be translated as "Knowledge means an informed decision."

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