Saving Lives without Taking Others: Why I Chose to Donate My Baby’s Cord Blood
Anyone who even casually tunes in to the news will have heard of stem cells. Chances are, however, you have only heard one perspective, that of embryonic stem cells and the hope that someday they may change the lives of those paralyzed or with Parkinson’s or cancer. Unfortunately, these early stem cells are so unformed as to be uncontrollable and so this is still speculative research. Most importantly, they get these stem cells by destroying tiny humans. It doesn’t matter how or where they were created. It does matter that they are little lives that should not be destroyed for the benefit of others. Because of this position, we who believe in protecting life are mostly perceived as road blocks to great medical advancements.
What you don’t hear much about is a viable and ready source of stem cells that get dumped in the trash every day. Each baby’s cord blood is full of stem cells that are fully capable of treating cancers and other disorders and saving lives, and they can do it with no harm to anyone. All this could be greatly furthered if we would only change our perspective and begin informing new moms about the possibility of donating.
When I was pregnant, they gave me flyers about how I could pay to save my child’s blood for her or our family’s use in case of need later on. The irony is that most of this blood goes to waste. If the family does indeed have a need, many times they need someone else’s stem cells, not their own with the genetic troubles that may have contributed.
No one mentioned that I could donate it for free. Somehow I found out about Cryobanks International, who did make it possible for us to donate.
It is easy, and it’s painless for your child. It only requires an extra blood draw from the mother (nothing even compared to giving a pint of blood). There is no reason not to do this as long as you contact them before your 34th week (in order to get the collection kit to you) and have a doctor willing to take the couple of minutes to do the collection.
So I would urge you to spread the word. If we are going to resist embryonic stem cell research, we also need to fight for ethical alternatives, especially ones so readily available. If you have any questions about my experience, feel free to contact me. If you have more technical questions or need help locating a donation center in your area, please contact Cryobanks International at 1-800-869-8608 or www.Cryo-Intl.com.