I thought a lot about whether to store cord blood because many people say that only a few diseases are curable right now through preserving cord blood and you’ll probably never use it, etc. In addition, the public bank will probably develop so huge later on, it’ll be easy to find a match from the public storage for cord blood. These are all good arguments. Here’s where I thought about it some more.
Technology is developing. Yes, only a few diseases and cancers are covered right now but what about the future? Who is to say what can be invented? Who would have known years ago that you can cure leukemia with cord blood with a match? I don’t think anyone thought that was possible. By keeping cord blood, I am boosting and supporting research in an indirect way. The companies use this money to do more research (a bit about how I chose the company I did). This would enable more innovation. Afterall, you can’t do research without money. My money is going somewhere good (again, I’ll talk more about this one later). My other thought was: people buy life insurance when they have a baby JUST in case something happens and their baby would have some money to fall back on. What’s the the chance you’d die in 10 years? Also highly unlikely. This is actually more unlikely than research being able to save more lives with what they use with cord blood. However, everyone buys it and pays an average of $600/year on life insurance so their kids can have money if they die.
Well, how much was my daughter’s life worth to me? If I buy $1m of life insurance versus a chance to be able to save her life in the future down the road, which one would I choose? Money doesn’t buy health. Yet people keep buying life insurance to prepare for their baby but will think super long on whether to preserve their child’s cord blood. That just didn’t make any sense to me. The storage fees are on average $150 a year now. That’s less than your coffee each month or diapers or whatever it is. Why on earth would I not buy it?
Given the small price I had to pay, I decided to preserve cord blood. I went and started searching for companies that do this and found ONE company that did stuff a bit differently. They also preserve the entire placenta! Placenta has way more cells than the cord blood. I also searched and made sure that I chose a company that also did their own research. I wanted my money to go somewhere that had innovation and if they did research, I feel confident that they know how to handle the cord blood so that it’s usable in the future. These are the few criteria I had:
- Must do their own research and innovation
- Must have utilized their cord blood in storage before and was successful in utilizing it in saving a life
- Would not charge me unless if they were successful at preserving the blood and placenta
- Have done this over 10 years
- Would have an insurance so that IF the company went bankrupt, the cord blood and placenta would still be safely placed somewhere and my contract would not change
- Was not solely based on “how cheap” their storage is but puts a focus on how their process preserves the MOST cells for your cord blood
- Must have experience flying your cord blood or placenta to all parts of the world and was successfully utilized (since I didn’t know whether I would be in the US or somewhere else)
- Must have experience storing cord blood and placenta from another country (since I may move to another country in the future… you never know and I’d like to keep my children’s stuff together in one place)
- They must use a preserving liquid during travel that was the best for preserving the cells during travel to the facility. You must ASK about what they use and how it compares to industry!
There was only one company that did all of that AND was able to store the entire placenta as well as tissue. Lifebank USA was the ONLY company that stored placenta and cord blood! They also had agreement with the government to continue my contract IF in the future they go bankrupt. That made me feel really safe that my child’s cells are basically guaranteed for life. The added bonus was they are one of the oldest companies in this field and they are highly research oriented. The price wasn’t bad but again, I thought about it as a one time price plus $100-$300 a year for storage (less than life insurance). It wasn’t on the top of my list for pricing really since they all can’t vary that much in a competitive market. This company however made me feel the safest.
It’s not to say other companies aren’t good. Some are equally good but I just wanted to preserve the “maximum” type and number of cells for my little one so I opted for this. If you’re simply looking for only cord blood storage, there’s a plethora of options but please make sure to go over the criteria above. Ask a lot of questions and don’t be shy. This is as important or more important than that life insurance you’re going to buy.
If anyone else out there is interested in Lifebank USA, let me know by commenting and I’ll personally email you at your personal email. In addition, there’s a way to get $150 off your fees (it may not be a lot compared to the enrollment fee but anything helps right?). Just simply comment and I’ll email you directly. I’ll be happy to help. No, I don’t work for Lifebank USA and they did not pay me to write this. I was just thinking about why I was even evaluating “whether I would store” such a thing. To me, it’s a no brainer.