Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Yeah, I'm alive (barely). Someday I'll tell you about it, but for now, here's a pitch.

I'm not sure how many of my friends may be expecting (or are planning on it), but for any of you who are, here's a shout out for banking your baby's cord blood.

I banked my daughter Lily's, never thinking that ANYTHING could POSSIBLY happen where I might need it. I remember thinking it was more money than I wanted to spend on a gamble, but then again, Steve was in grad school--meaning that it must not have been TOO much money, especially considering how sure I was that I'd never, ever need it. Things might go wrong for other people, but they always seemed to work out for me. Right?


This is what I have learned since then: SH*T ALWAYS HAPPENS.

Life is long and families have a lot of people in them. Tons of the time, stuff is boring and happy and free from problems. But inevitably, stuff goes wrong. And it doesn't matter who you are or how smoothly your life has gone thus far, stuff still happens.

So, yeah. I am really grateful I made the decision to bank Lil's blood even though I was super naive at the time. (I was 25 and thought I was totally mature and wise and crap. Hahahaha!)

In case you're wondering what on earth you can do with cord blood: Blood from a neonate's umbilical cord is rich with stem cells. Stem cell therapies are already in use for cancer (which, for some strange reason, I happen to care a lot about... hmm...), blood diseases, auto-immune diseases, and certain genetic diseases. Future research may find therapies for diseases like Parkinson's (another one that hits close to home), Alzheimer's, MS, and many others.

Umbilical blood also has the added plus of letting you avoid the firestrom (not a typo) of controversy that goes with embryonic stem cell extraction. Or to use an equation since I haven't done that forever:

UCB = (all the benefit) - (that particular stress)

If you'd like more information, here's a link.
Or you can call 1-800-747-3319. Mention code MJL8 and either you or I will get some kind of reward. (They weren't entirely clear about that.)

You may never need the blood (here's to hoping you DON'T!) but it's really comforting to have it just in case. I think of it as part of my "emergency preparedness" because, turns out, cataclysmic disasters come in all kinds of forms. Some extremely personal.

You can message me if you have any questions or reservations or whatever. I'm not an expert, but I'll tell you whatever I know!