Over the past two decades the science of cord blood stem cell medicine has made incredible progress. To think in1988 only one condition was treatable using cord blood stem cells, and today they can be used in the treatment of nearly 80 life-threatening diseases. Moreover, cord blood stems cells have already been used to help treat and give hope to nearly 25,000 patients around the globe. 1
Advancing uses for cord blood stem cells is just the beginning. Today, families can also collect and save stem cells from the surrounding umbilical cord tissue+– an option ViaCord is proud to offer expecting families. These tissue-derived stem cells have “regenerating” properties and laboratory research in the last few years has demonstrated their potential to treat additional diseases like Parkinson’s 2, stroke 3, & type 1 diabetes.4
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of a Mother is: a female parent. 1 Now we all know that mothers are more than simply ‘female parents’. They are nurturers, leaders, role models, and the best hug-givers in the world! Perhaps the definition in print is so brief because there are so many, or rather too many, ways to define what a Mother is.
To honor Mother’s Day this year we thought it would be fun to flip the tables. Instead of asking others what mom means to them, we’ve asked moms to tell us what their role of mother means to them. And who better to ask than our very own ViaCord employees who are mothers, of course! Let’s see what they had to say:
For many, the Thanksgiving season is an opportunity to take some time and reflect, give thanks and express gratitude. This year we asked our very own ViaCord employees to tell us the things they’re grateful for this year. Here’s what they said:
“This year more than ever, I’m thankful for the strength, love and support of my wife, Janaelle, who is the reason I got through my stem cell transplant last year—better and stronger than ever!!”
- Brian, ViaCord Clinical Consultant
“I am thankful for my 33 healthy nieces and nephews and for having a job that allows me to collaborate and affect positive change with so many intelligent, passionate and hard-working coworkers, making a difference for better future health for families.”
- Karen, Vice President Lab Operations and ViaCord Site Leader
Amid the hustle, bustle and celebration of your baby’s birth, your doctor collects the cord blood and packs the unit to send to ViaCord. But what happens next? We asked Gail Foertsch, Senior Manager at the ViaCord Processing Laboratory (VPL), to give parents an inside look at how we process your child’s cord blood in our state-of-the-art facility. Here’s what she had to say:
“Delivered Safe and Sound
With the help of a private medical courier service specializing in transporting biopharmaceutical materials, collected cord blood units arrive at our AABB-accredited, CLIA-certified, FDA-registered and industry benchmarked facility just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. The first step we take is cross-referencing important information on the cord blood unit, including the mother’s name, ViaCord identification number and time and date of the collection, with our database. This ensures the safety and security of your child’s cord blood right from the start.
We have great news—one of our colleagues had a baby! In addition to gaining a healthy and happy son, Lisa got an interesting perspective on cord blood collection—this time as a ViaCord customer. We asked her to tell us about her firsthand experience with cord blood banking.
Once the decision was made, how did you go about making arrangements?
“I went through the same process as our customers do. Once I was enrolled and completed my forms, I received a confirmation e-mail followed by a voice message that my collection kit would arrive within 2 weeks (it actually arrived in 3 days). Then, as I got closer to my due date, I received a reminder message, so I didn’t forget my collection kit when we left for the hospital.
I also received literature in the mail, and honestly, I was impressed. Everything was clear and comforting for me as a mom. And as a ViaCord employee, it was reassuring to know that our customers experience the same.“
Anything you would change about the process?
ViaCord has a long history of collecting and preserving babies’ stem cells. We’re proud to provide families with the opportunity to save the precious stem cells found in umbilical cord blood. The successful treatment of a number of conditions using cord blood stem cells proves they can be a valuable medical resource for families. Over the years ViaCord has seen many families in need of a stem cell treatment turn to the cord blood stem cells they’ve banked with us, especially where there may otherwise be limited treatment options.
Recently ViaCord released its 200th cord blood unit to be used for a potentially life-changing treatment.
Marking this newest milestone – 200 cord blood units released, 200 families given hope -is cause for acknowledgement and also provides an opportunity to reflect on the past and think about the future potential of cord blood stem cells.
It’s the season of giving, and embracing the holiday spirit can mean more than wrapping gifts and hectic shopping malls. Many people also choose to give to charities like the March of Dimes Foundation. The March of Dimes Foundation is dedicated to helping more moms have full-term and healthy pregnancies and researching the complications that threaten a baby’s health. It’s also an organization that’s very close to our hearts here at ViaCord.
One of the busiest weeks of the year is upon us and it’s no secret that getting caught up in the frenzy of the Thanksgiving holiday is easy to do – traveling with family, playing host to a houseful of guests, searching for that perfect stuffing recipe! In light of the whirlwind feeling this Thursday can bring, admittedly it’s nice to have one day dedicated to giving thanks to the things in your world that help bring happiness and fulfillment to it.
With that in mind, we thought we’d get a jump start today and share some of the things we’re thankful for at ViaCord:
Before you know it 40 weeks of waiting, 280 days of planning, and the big moment will finally come. You’ll find yourself at the hospital ready to deliver your baby!
So whether you’ll have lots of time to settle in and tuck your overnight bag in the corner with your ViaCord collection kit resting nearby, or you’re rushing in with that overnight bag flung over one arm and your collection kit under the other –we want to ensure that the process of collecting your baby’s cord blood goes as smoothly as possible.
When you bank your baby’s cord blood, you want the best chances for a successful stem cell transplant. That’s why it’s important to ask the cord blood bank’s representative if their bank is fully accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). AABB accreditation is one indicator to ensure donors and clients that a cord blood bank is delivering a quality process—from collection to storage and, if necessary, transplantation. And since 2003, ViaCord has been proud to be AABB-accredited