The concept of storing umbilical cord blood for the potent stem cells it has is nothing new. But what is coming to light in just the last couple of years is how many diseases and disorders these stem cells may be able to treat in growing children and adults.
We toured one of the largest cord blood banks in the world and it’s right here in Tampa.
This is not a science fiction movie.
This state of the art facility stores umbilical cord blood containing thousands of potent, immature stem cells that could treat a myriad of diseases and disorders.
“There is work going on now from autism and cerebral palsy in young children to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in older adults and everything in between,” Dr. Leslie Miller of Clearwater said.
Miller has spent years studying stem cells and says without a doubt banking a newborn’s cord blood is the same as an insurance policy on your child’s life, no doubt saving lives and possibly replacing the use of toxic drugs.
It’s evident from Joe’s story.
“We are definitely seeing improvement,” said Joe, from New Jersey.
A couple years after his daughter’s birth, Joe says she was diagnosed with Apraxia. Her brain has problems planning to move the body parts needed for speech (her lips, tongue and jaw.)
“She very much kept to herself. Now she is outgoing and playful, even initiating conversation with other kids,” Joe said.
Joe said his daughter Rebecca has had two cord blood infusions in the last six months and while she hasn’t completely caught up with other children her age, he says he knows the treatments are working.
The cord blood for all of Joe’s children is stored at Cryo Cell International in Tampa. It’s one of the largest cord blood storage facilities in the world. Parents decide during pregnancy they want to store their child’s cord blood. They take a designated box to the delivery room and the hospital does the rest, adding the umbilical cord blood and sending it to a facility, like Cryo Cell, to be frozen.
Pricing varies for the service, but storage costs start around $1,300 with year’s fees around $130. It’s very important to note we are not talking about embryonic stem cells, but rather stem cells from the umbilical cord, something that would have been discarded anyway. Doctors say there is absolutely no harm to mother and baby.
There are plenty of cord blood banks across the country, but the one featured in our story is Cryo Cell International. For more information on their services, visit cryo-cell.com.