This week an article came out in Newsweek questioning whether there is any real benefit to banking a baby’s cord blood. They painted a picture of one company in particular, Cord Blood Registry, as pushing “marketing hype” and suggested that a few “anectodal” stories of the successful use of treating children with their own stems cells doesn’t prove anything. For the sake of full disclosure, you should know that I frequently act as a spokesperson for Cord Blood Registry. I do this because not only do I believe in the value of banking cord blood but because I have witnessed the dedication and passion this company has for helping find cures for horrible diseases.
I was not only shocked but saddened to read this article. From a pure medical perspective, if this philosophy had been used when dealing with other diseases that have either now been eradicated or in which we’re seeing tremendous progress, our child mortality rate would be much higher. It’s incredible for me to understand how the collection of a baby’s cord blood cells, which pose no controversy and could provide life saving properties, would even be questioned. In these already life-saving cells, researchers and scientists see the potential to cure even more diseases and help children with brain injury, cerebral palsy and even diabetes.
Unfortunately, there is already too much misinformation and factual errors out there about the benefits of banking a baby’s cord blood. Many OB/GYNs don’t even bring it up to their patients, depriving parents of the opportunity to make their own decision. This article does a great disservice to parents by not providing a fair or accurate assessment of the tremendous potential scientists see for the use of cord blood cells. I would encourage everyone to visit Cord Blood Registries site – www.cordblood.com, to read more facts about cord blood. You can also watch an incredible video about one little boy in particular who has cerebral palsy and, after having his cord blood cells transplanted, can now say and do things that otherwise might not have been possible.