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How stem cells could help your family

The collection of umbilical cord blood stem cells can only take place immediately after a baby has been born. It's an opportunity parents should know about, and we'd like you to have all the facts so you can make your own informed decision:

Transplanted cells are already being used - they're used today, in the treatment of over 80 illnesses - mainly from matched donors to treat cancers of the blood such as leukaemias, and blood disorders such as Sickle Cell Anaemia and Beta Thalassemia

Many scientists and medical experts believe that there will be breakthroughs in the future reliant on an individual having access to his or her own stored cord blood stem cells. This is known as regenerative medicine and offers the hope of future treatments and potential cures for some of the most debilitating diseases

All we can say with absolute certainty is that the rate of advances in medical science has never been faster and that around the world hundreds of clinical trials are taking place using stem cells to treat conditions such as stroke, cerebral palsy, heart disease, Parkinson’s and muscular dystrophy. Since the first cord blood stem cell transplant was completed in 1988, what would have seemed miraculous only a few short years ago is now commonplace.

However, stem cells must be collected shortly after birth, and carefully stored, or they're lost forever. So if you want to ensure that your family could one day benefit from stem cell storage, you need to have everything in place ready for the birth. Our step by step guide shows how the process works.