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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Default Torn between private banking or donation

    I'm really torn about this. I really don't want to pay to bank the baby's cord blood, but my Mom is really pressuring me to do it. Cancer runs in the family and Dh's grandmother has a disease that can be treated with cord blood so it's possible that one of our children could develop the same condition and really benefit from cord blood transplant. BUT, that's a fairly distant relative IMO...paternal great grandmother. And the other kinds of cancer that run in the family cannot be helped with cord blood. Plus i just don't think we can afford it. In theory we can, but I guess it depends on how much the bottom line price is, and obviously it will mean spending less in other areas. I really feel like if everyone who could donate, did, that we would not need private banks. What do you all think???

    Pros to banking privately:
    -available for our family's use exclusively, should the need arise
    -probably a no regret situation

    Cons to banking privately:
    -may not need it
    -seems selfish

    Pros to donating:
    -it's generous
    -it could benefit a child who is sick NOW
    -it's free
    -if everyone was able to donate, there would be plenty of cord blood to go around so you woudln't need to store your own

    Cons to donating:
    -if you need it, and you gave it away BIG REGRET!
    -it may not get used or may be deemed unusable for some reason

  2. #2
    kaycee14 Guest

    Default RE: Torn between private banking or donation

    Several years ago, the FDA helped fund a study of how effective cord blood transplants were. Three universites were picked to collect donated cord blood and send it out for transplant to anyone who needed it. One of those was UCLA - I worked in that lab. The preliminary results of the study were that cord blood is effective in curing many conditions. The limitations are mostly based on the size of the recipient (larger patients didn't do as well as children and small adults). Cord blood also had fewer rejection problems than bone marrow transplants, probably due to the immature immune system of the donor (the brand new baby).

    So, should you bank for yourself or donate?

    Partly it depends on how many children you plan on having. If you only plan on one, private banking is certainly not worth it.

    The private banks tell you all the conditions that can be treated with cord blood... what they don't tell you is that most of those conditions can only be treated with SOMEONE ELSE'S cells. If your child (heaven forbid) develops leukemia, he can NOT use his own cells. A brother or sister's cells MIGHT be able to be used; it depends on how closely their tissue types match.

    What about conditions that run in your family? If you consult a genetic counseler, he/she will discount any conditions not in your immediate family, i.e. your parents and siblings and your spouse's parents and siblings. A great grandparent is not considered immediate family.

    There is lots of research going on with stem cells (that's what's in the cord blood). Despite what the media constantly says, adult stem cells (the type in cord blood) are showing lots of promise - as much if not more than fetal stem cells. It's possible that many more conditions will be able to be treated in the future. Perhaps the cells can be manipulated (geneticly altered) to correct whatever went wrong and be given back to the child to cure him. Who knows what will be possible or when the treatments might be available. Maybe in the next few years, maybe not for decades.

    Having worked in this field, what did I decide? The FDA funded program at UCLA stopped collecting over 5 years ago. I would have donated to one of the other programs if my local hospital was participating. I didn't even consider banking privately. My DD's cord blood was thrown out along with the placenta. Will I regret the decision? Who knows. I hope not. There are so many things that can go wrong raising a child. I hope I never regret overlooking some small, chokeable object on the floor, taking the long way home from the store, or letting my DD stay home alone (years from now of course). Life is full of gambles. I weighed the odds and decided that for us the money would be better spent on a bunch of lottery tickets - or better yet, put in a college fund.

    Everyone must make their own decisions and no two decisions will be made for the exact same reasons. Good luck with yours and with the birth!

    Mommy to a wonderful baby girl

  3. #3
    mommyoftwo Guest

    Default RE: Torn between private banking or donation

    This is extremely helpful information that more people should read. Would you mind posting your response in the lounge as well. Many more people will see it there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Default RE: Torn between private banking or donation

    I like the idea of cord donation. Its like blood donation -- if everyone did it, we would all collectively benefit. My child's cord could be used to help a sick child right now, and, if down the road my child got sick, someone would have hopefully donated a cord that was a match.

    I would trust that system more than that of private banking because what happens if the cord bank mishandles my baby's cord and it is unusable (which is probably something I wouldn't know about until the time came and after paying a lot of money for storage)? Or my child has a disease for which her own cord can't be used?

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