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Why should we bank our child’s cord blood?

With new advances in stem cell research, more and more diseases, illnesses, and injuries are able to be treated with stem cells. It is estimated that a person has a 1 in 217 chance of needing some type of stem cell transplant at some time during their lifetime. Many parents want to give their child a greater chance to find a matching donor, by taking the proactive step of cord blood stem cell banking.

Not only does this provide reassurance for parents that their child will always have a perfect matching source of stem cells, but there is also comfort in knowing those stem cells are a possible match for the entire family! Full siblings have a 1-in-4 chance of being a perfect match and parents will each always be a “half match” to his or her stem cells. For families with a history of inherited diseases, especially those currently known to be treated or cured with stem cells, cord blood banking is an even greater benefit.

Also, due to the fact that the majority of bone marrow and cord blood donation registries are made of up Caucasian donors, families of mixed racial or diverse ethnic backgrounds are especially encouraged to bank their baby’s cord blood. Banking their cord blood proves especially beneficial because it is much more challenging for those with a diverse background to find a matching donor from worldwide public registries.