Another Giant Leap for Mankind: Cord Blood Stem Cells
American Astronaut and American Hero, Neil Armstrong, passed away this past week. As USA TODAY reporter Dan Vergano so eloquently stated: “Look tonight at the moon. (sic) And think of Neil Armstrong, reluctant hero, the quiet man whose footsteps still rest upon the moon and in history.”
Armstrong’s iconic words, as he took his first stride: That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind” were as true as any words ever spoken. NASA’s efforts have helped us to become a world where everything seems possible. Many of us still use the phrase “shoot for the stars” to mean “go after your dreams” or “don’t be afraid of failure”. “The sky is the limit” is another often used phrase to let people know that there is no limit to the opportunities before them. Our presence in space has allowed us to dream big and create products that were once the themes of fiction. As we send people with wrenches into space to fix satellites and telescopes, this giant leap, that Armstrong took, set a course for innovation that has made the unthinkable, ordinary.
For thousands of years riding a horse was the fastest way to get a message from one location to another. Yet, within the last few generations we have witnessed the train, car, telegraph, telephone, rocket, computer, GPS, and the internet. While Armstrong’s first steps on the moon came after many of these inventions, his feat was so monumental that no barrier has ever again seemed insurmountable.
I believe the same can be said for the world of medical science in general and cord blood banking in particular. Cord blood research has allowed for cures to diseases that were once universally fatal. With an incidence of about three cases for every one thousand children, leukemia is a disease that almost every young family thinks about from time-to-time. Cord blood banking is giving us success in the treatment of leukemia that was never thought possible.
As we approach eighty treatable diseases with stem cell therapies, it would appear that we may be on the cusp of successfully treating the less deadly, but equally devastating diseases of cerebral palsy and autism with cord blood stem cells. If this research proves successful, we can once again harken Armstrong’s words: “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.” As researchers around the world develop better treatments for burns, cancer, spinal cord injury, hearing loss, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis etc. because of cord blood stem cells, it will become more and more apparent that giant leaps can occur on the tiniest of surfaces.
Given this, it is important to get cord blood facts so that you can weigh the pros and cons of cord blood banking. If you are expecting a child, you need to be able to answer the questions: “Why store cord blood?” and “Is cord blood banking worth it?” Cord blood facts are available on many websites and if finances are challenging, it is easy to do a cord blood banking cost comparison as well. For those women planning on a homebirth, cord blood can still be stored easily and affordably without interrupting the homebirth process. Some cord blood banking companies, including Stork Medical, offer this service.
Take the time to compare cord blood banks and review stem cell therapy. Even if you choose not to proceed with cord blood banking, you’ll be glad for the knowledge you gain and more comfortable with the decision you make. Is cord blood banking worth it? With enough cord blood facts, you will be in an excellent position to judge.
Take a look at the moon tonight. Then look past the moon and envision Mars, where NASA landed a roving laboratory a few weeks ago. It offers an inspiring message that our personal troubles are minor and that nothing is beyond our reach.