At her recent baby shower, Giuliana Rancic received all sorts of wonderful presents for her nursery and her son’s wardrobe collection. She also got one that can’t be hung over a crib or stored in a dresser – but it could potentially save her child’s life one day.
She tweeted today, “So thankful 4 all the fab baby shower gifts! Looking forward to banking w/@CordBloodRegistry like my sister did!”
Yes, Giuliana and Bill are arranging to have their newborn son’s umbilical cord blood stored shortly after birth. (As most folks know by now, the couple is expecting their boy via gestational surrogate in Colorado in a few weeks.)
So what’s it all about? The blood in the umbilical cord is rich in healthy stem cells that can be used in transplants to treat a variety of illnesses, including leukemia and sickle-cell disease, or for certain injuries. Parents can choose to have the blood retrieved right after birth and stored for their own family’s use, or put in a public bank to be used by anyone who needs it. It costs about $2,000 for the harvesting for a private banking, plus $100 a year for storage; public banks charge the parents’ insurance company if the blood is used.
Cord blood banking is a highly personal decision. Parents with a history of certain illnesses may want to store the blood in case their child or another relative develops the disease; others may choose it in hopes of helping others. But even if the blood is used for a transfusion, the procedure may not work.
But the Rancics, who are the new spokespersons for the Cord Blood Registry bank, believe that banking their son’s cord blood is a smart move, given Giuliana’s history of breast cancer at a young age.
What’s your take? Would you – or have you – banked your baby’s umbilical-cord blood?
[Photo: via Twitter]
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