We’re currently in the process of making a pretty big decision. To be honest, I think the decision is made, it’s a no brainer really. But it does mean finding a LOT of money at a time when there isn’t a lot to be found.
I’m talking about banking stem cells. Stem cells are found in the blood in the umbilical cord of a baby when it’s born, and they relate specifically to each different part of the body. There are brain stem cells and bone stem cells and… well, you get the picture. At birth, blood can be extracted from the umbilical cord and ‘banked’ as an insurance policy for that baby in the future. If the child is then diagnosed with some form of leukaemia or cerebral palsy or type 1 diabetes (and the list goes on…) the stem cells can be used to treat the illness. Current research even shows that the cells might be able to be used to treat things like strokes and Parkinson’s Disease in the future.
So the benefits of banking the cells are clear.
The downside is the cost. For extraction and 17 years storage, the cost is $5k per baby. While that doesn’t sound like a lot if it means you might save their life, finding the $10k required to store cells for both babies while we are on one income is a big ask. Especially as they may never be needed, or may be negated by new research in the future that finds other forms of treatment.
If I didn’t know about this new technology (which is being dubbed as big a medical breakthrough as the discovery of penicillin) and something happened to one of my children that could have been fixed with stem cells, I’d be gutted and wished I had’ve known, but that’d be that. Now that I do know, if I choose not to go ahead and something happens, I’d never forgive myself. Then $5k won’t seem like that much.
So I guess that makes it simple. If you were to put a price on the lives of your children, would it be higher than $5k?
I haven’t met mine yet and I already know the answer to that.