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Umbilical Cord Blood Banking – is it right for you?

“As prospective parents, we wanted to give our babies the best gift we could. And as doctors, we knew we could give them something special, something that may one day safeguard their health or even save their lives. We chose to store their umbilical cord blood.”

Dr Jeff Drew, a leading research scientist in molecular biology and Mr Giles Davies, a consultant surgeon, founded Cells4Life to store their own children’s cord blood in 2002 when they realised the only services available at the time didn’t fulfil their own stringent criteria.

But what makes umbilical cord blood stem cells such a fantastic gift?
Stem cells are known as “naïve” cells, this means they can change into many different kinds of cells found in the body. Serving as a sort of repair system for the body, they can pretty much divide without limit to replace other cells. When a stem cell divides, each new cell can either stay as a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specific function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, even a brain cell, in fact any cell found in the human body.

Where are stem cells found?
The richest known source of stem cells is umbilical cord blood. Once your baby has been delivered and the umbilical cord cut, your trained healthcare professional can collect the blood from the umbilical cord for storage. The collection process is safe, easy and painless for both mother and baby, and doesn’t interfere with the delivery or aftercare of the mother or baby. The blood is then taken to a lab for processing within 24 hours of collection, before being cryogenically frozen. This allows the protection and storage of the stem cells for many years, ready for use at any time in the future should your child need them.

In the UK the collection, transport, storage and testing of umbilical cord blood is regulated by the Human Tissue Authority. Any establishments involved in any of these activities should be licensed or have suitable agreements with the licensed party. Cells4Life is fully compliant with the Human Tissue Authority and is the only private company in the UK licensed to store umbilical cord blood.

What are stem cells used for?
Ongoing research using these cells has shown that they can treat over 70 different medical conditions. Encouraging results have been found in the treatment of a wide variety of different medical conditions including cancer, bone fractures, burns, strokes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntingdon disease, diabetes and many more. Just imagine the possibilities in ten or twenty years. New research into stem cell use is already showing encouraging outcomes, in such fields as regenerating organs, repairing damaged muscle tissue and tendons, and helping create skin grafts for burns’ victims.

The storage of stem cells can be priceless in certain high risk cases, such as where there is a known hereditary disease within the family that is treatable by stem cell transplantation. It’s the future therapeutic possibilities of stem cells, as well as the already known treatable conditions, that has motivated the thousands of parents that have already taken up this service in the UK.

The storage of your baby’s umbilical cord blood with Cells4Life is a once in a lifetime opportunity to save these precious cells that could offer the gift of health or even life in some cases.

The world is your child’s oyster and the future could hold anything. As they get older, your ability to protect them and their health lessens. Although you may not be able to protect them for the rest of their lives, you can give them the best possible start. By storing their stem cells now, you would be giving your child a further assurance for their health which can last a lifetime.

For more information click on the logo to visit the website or telephone 01273 234676.


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