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Richard Branson’s message

We're all aware that the human body has an amazing capacity to heal itself, but there are some illnesses and injuries we need more help to fight. The use of umbilical cord blood stem cells is an area in which I have been personally interested for many years. The thought that a straight forward technique carried out immediately after a baby is born could, in the future, save or enhance lives is incredible.

As well as helping people with serious illnesses like leukaemia today, I believe - and more importantly, so do many scientists and medical experts - that these cells could be used to treat a wide range of other conditions, from heart disease to diabetes, in the future.

However, it's fair to say that the research has still to be proven conclusively, and I think it would be irresponsible for anyone to promise that a cure for these illnesses will ever be found.

To help as many people as possible benefit, Virgin Health Bank has been designed to give parents-to-be the opportunity of storing their baby's stem cells and contributing to the development of an international registry unlike other banks

Like most people, if I were to be asked what I value most highly in life, I'd say health and family. Yes, it's early days, but storing these stem cells has the potential to benefit both. I feel passionate about this, I've made a personal commitment that proceeds from Virgin Health Bank to the Virgin Group or me will be invested in good causes around the world.

Very best wishes,

Richard Branson

Richard Branson