Nov
0

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year! It is special in many different ways and is the platform for the official Holiday Season to begin. So often, people forget to be thankful for priceless things in your life and that is your family. Money and material things come and go within your life but the irreplaceable commodities are the ones that you love and love you back. There is no price you can pay for health but you can do everything within your power to protect the future of your family. For many of you that will be reading this blog, I have had my most difficult year of my life. It has comes with my biggest challenge both medically and mentally. I will be reflecting and sharing with you my journey in my upcoming blogs. It has reminded me how very important family is and their unselfish dedication to see me thru. So, as we enter into this Holiday Season I ask you to stop and truly celebrate the things that money can’t buy, your loved ones. CorCell is my personal choice of private cord blood banks and they too are taking the opportunity to celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving Season by offering an additional discount of $200 off enrollment. If you happen to be a member of one of CorCell’s Insurance Partners you can combine this discount with the standard $350 off for a total of $550. Call 1-888-882-2673 or visit www.CorCell.com to obtain more information and details of the dates available for this promotion. Life is priceless; so make sure to be prepared to protect the ones you love. Stems cells saves and improves lives, don’t throw them away.

Together We CAN Help Save Lives!

Natalie Curry

Sep
0

Stem Cells for Dogs


It is no secret the value stem cells have in the various treatments for humans but now we are seeing them being used in the treatment of animals as well.  This is a gigantic step forward for veterinary medicine and for many pet owners who regard their fury friends as part of the family.  On July 19th, Bernie, the pit bull, was found by police officers stranded on a rooftop.  Bernie suffered third degree burns on his paw pads and spine.  Dr. Boyd Wagner, veterinarian and owner of the Wyomissing Animal Hospital, said, “I don’t think I’ve seen anything that bad in 25 years.”  Dr. Wagner decided to regrow Bernie’s paw pads with stem cells with the help of Celavet Inc., a California-based biotechnology firm that specializes in stem cell research in horses, cats, and dogs.

Bernie’s case was the first of its kind, using another animal’s stem cells to grow specialized types of cells.  Wagner said, “the stem cells increase the re-epitheliazation at a faster pace and a more uniform pace.”  Essentially, stem cells would be injected into Bernie’s pads to help heal at a quicker rate.  Stem-cell treatment in animals is a growing trend, hopefully sooner rather than later it will be available everywhere.

 

Jul
0

Stem Cells and Hair Loss

Hair loss affects roughly 56 million people in the United States alone. There are many causes for hair loss including age, illness, stress, and hormones; all of which we will most likely encounter. It is nondiscriminatory; affecting men, women, and children. Until now treatment for hair loss was extremely expensive or most likely ineffective.

Thanks to a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, an innovative long term treatment is being developed through the use of stem cells.

The study focused on the stem cells that are responsible for the growth of hair follicles.  They discovered that in the case of balding, the stem cells that prompt the growth of hair had become inactive.  The study seeks to discover a way to reactivate the damaged stem cells initiating the regrowth of hair.  According to Dr. George Cotsarelis, Assistant Director of Dermatology a the University, the study shows that stem cell transplantation can be used as a hair loss treatment in the future.

These promising studies give hope to those who are dealing with hair loss for a multitude of reasons. WIth continued dedication and progressive thinking, hair loss will become a thing of the past.

 

Natalie Curry

 

 

Jun
0

The Vision of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB)

As discussed in my webinar with Dr. Kramer in late January, All Eyes on Cord Blood, stem cells from Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB) are being used to treat debilitating eye and vision disorders in premature babies.

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding disorder that primarily affects premature babies. ROP is caused by an abnormal growth of blood vessels that damage the retina.  Every year about 15,000 babies are affected.  Two teams from the Centre for Vision and Vascular Science at Queen’s University Belfast are researching different methods of treatment for babies affected by ROP.  The team led by Dr. Derek Brazil is aiming their focus at the potential for stem cell treatments from the babies’ own UCB. Dr Brazil believes it may be possible to protect babies from ROP, and save their sight, by treating them with a special type of stem cell taken from their own umbilical cords. Dr. Brazil and his colleagues were awarded a two-year grant from children’s charity, Action Medical Research, to pursue this life changing work.

CorCell, A Cord Blood America Company, partners with many Insurance Institutions to provide important literature and discounts to their members encouraging them to understand the value of UCB. Visit their website to see if your Insurance Company is a current partner @ http://www.corcell.com/insurance-partners/ or call 1-888-882-2673.

Umbilical cord blood is continuously proving itself invaluable.  Don’t risk tossing it in the trash when you may need it for a treatment or cure.

Together We Can Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

 

Mar
0

Placenta Blood and Cord Blood Collections-Quantity Matters

Lately I have received many questions about the role placenta blood plays at the time of a cord blood collection. Some have even asked if it is necessary to save and preserve the placenta?

  • The Placenta is an organ that is about the size of a fist.  It’s job is to connect the baby to the uterine wall which enables the baby to receive all of the nutrients it needs to be healthy. It is enriched with the same stem cells that are found inside of your baby’s cord blood.

Your knowledge about placenta blood is very important. Especially If you plan to collect your baby’s cord blood. When collecting cord blood  it is important to get as much blood as possible to help increase the chances of a higher yield of stem cells. If possible it is best to collect the cord blood while the placenta is still in uterine. This allows for the natural contractions to increase the flow of blood, resulting in a higher yield. However there are circumstances that will not allow you to leave the placenta in longer.  If you have an emergency or a C-section your entire birthing process will be different. The Good News is that neither of these situations should prevent you from collecting cord blood.

Like I mentioned above your Placenta blood stem cells are identical to your baby’s cord blood stem cells. Some banking institutions have began to offer tissue (such as placenta) preservation and storage. I believe the best way to get a large yield of stem cells, is to let the placenta flow naturally into the cord.  By doing this, you will not need to bank both the cord blood and placenta.

I hope that this helps to answer your questions! If you have more questions regarding stem cells and or cord blood, please check out my other website- http://www.allaboutcordblood.com

Together We Can Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Mar
0

The Price Question?

Cord Blood Banking Raffle Winner and I

Cord Blood Banking Raffle Winner and I

I know that I have discussed the price involved in cord blood banking numerous times before. After giving my speech at the Pregnant New Yorker event earlier this week it occurred to me that price is still the number question people have about cord blood banking. It is very misunderstood so many people are scared away immediately because they think they can’t afford it.  My hope is to encourage you to educate yourself about your choices. Prices range from bank to bank and most all of them offer several payment options.  CorCell cord blood bank even has partnerships with nine different insurance companies that will work with you  to help lower your costs.

It is all about priorities. I am sure that when you are starting a family or having children saving for their future is one of your greatest concerns. Have you thought about what you would do god forbid someone in your family becomes ill? The same way you prepare for financial unknowns you can prepare for medical crisis’s by saving your baby’s cord blood.

If price is what is holding you back from making this decision; opt to bank your baby’s cord blood vs:

  • Going to Starbucks daily
  • Television Cable
  • Dinning out
  • Vacationing

It is small changes like this  that could help you save money to bank your baby’s cord blood.

Most people believe that cord blood banking is thousands of dollars per year and that is untrue. You will pay one larger sum up front to the bank for enrollment /processing/ storage. After that (depending upon what payment option you use) you will pay close to $100 a year or close to $30 a month. It is really a small price to pay to help ensure your families healthy future. I hope that this helps clear things up and that you will ask questions and do research to find the best bank for your family.

If you have any questions regarding cord blood/ stem cells please visit  the Q & A section on allaboutcordblood.com

To learn more about the payment option’s with CorCell please visit CorCell.com

Together We Can Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Jan
0

The 23rd Anniversary of the Very FIRST Cord Blood Collection

January 14th is a day that will go down in history forever. It is the day of the very first cord blood collection which means it is my youngest sister, Emily’s birthday. I hope you enjoy my latest webinar featuring special guests, Nahla Abbo and her brave son, Cal. Watch to learn how stem cells saved Cal’s life and can help save many others!

Please mark your calendars NOW for my next webinar with special guest, Dr.Kramer Topic- All Eyes on Cord Blood. on Friday January 28th at 4:00pm EST on allaboutcordblood.com

Jan
4

Birthdays

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

My Birthday is next Tuesday the 11th, and I feel extremely blessed to be celebrating again. When my parents were given my diagnosis of FA, doctors didn’t expect that I would live much past the age of 10. I cannot even express in words how lucky I feel to have such a great family who would do anything to help me survive. From parents who wouldn’t give up hope in conceiving a perfect match for me, to my sister’s: Audrey who would rather feel the pain herself then to see one single tear roll down my cheek. and Emily who didn’t hesitate in the decision to give me a kidney and saved my life for the second time.

It is because of them along with other family and friends that I am still able to celebrate my birthday. Not only do I get to celebrate it once a year, but on the day of my cord blood transplant I celebrate and on the day of my kidney transplant as well.  Don’t let the years pass by without celebrating. No matter your age, in fact the older you get the more you should celebrate making it through another year!

Start your baby’s life off by giving them the BEST Birthday present in the world, SAVING their cord blood!

Here’s to another healthy year…Happy Birthday!

Natalie Curry

Dec
0

Heart Disease and Cord Blood

The Key to Your Healthy Heart

The Key to Your Healthy Heart

Heart disease poses a large threat to the health of thousands and thousands of people. It  is a universal death sentence that turns its victims up side down and all too often claims their life. Did you know that congenital heart defects – or problems with the heart’s structure that are present at birth – are the most common type of major birth defect.  Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. Approximately one million people die of cardiovascular disease annually despite medical intervention, with coronary artery disease claiming 50 percent of those lives.  Although heart disease impacts an older population whose heart muscle, arteries and pumping function have deteriorated over time, heart ailments also strike the very young. According to the National Institutes of Health, congenital heart disease is responsible for more deaths in the first year of life than any other birth defect.

The stem cells found in a newborn’s umbilical cord blood are one type of stem cell holding great promise in cardiovascular repair. This is very exciting news and is providing a promising outcome for heart patients everywhere.   Although these advances are very exciting and have been proven to help and improve may lives this science continues to make strides and gain knowledge .  Using the stem cells from cord blood is a medial option for heart disease that is just around the corner. To put it simply your baby’s cord blood is a miracle. It can be used for numerous life threatening diseases and an array of medical conditions.

Please educate your self about cord blood and the extremely rich value of saving it for your family or someone else’s

Happy Holidays,

Natalie Curry

Nov
0

A Thanksgiving Wish

My good friend Dr.O’Neill from Cord Blood America wrote this VERY touching article: I am so blessed to have so many amazing people in my life! Thank you to my friends Dr.O’Neill and Erin Tecca for having the courage to jump for this important cause! This Holiday season give a gift of meaning… make a donation in honor of all of your friends and family!


CBAI Gives Back
Taking the Plunge for a Good Cause

It has been almost 35 years since I came to New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center from Scotland as a Visiting Fellow to gain experience in the developing medical specialty of bone marrow transplantation. Almost four decades later, we have seen the introduction of peripheral blood stem cell and cord blood transplants being used commonly in the treatment of malignant and genetic disease. As this field now evolves into the new specialty of Cellular Therapy and Regenerative Medicine, I now realize that one of the few benefits of aging is not only that I may myself benefit one day from these evolving therapies, but more importantly, it has allowed me to put my career journey somewhat into perspective.

I was 25 when I came to New York and the city offered a young “chap” excitement and opportunity. At that time, I met a young Hematology/Oncology Fellow from South Africa, who, to this day, is one of my closest friends. Back in 1976, to celebrate the U.S. Bicentennial, he invited me to go with him to Johannesburg, not only to see the animal life, but also skydive, since his family operated that business there. I eagerly agreed, although I must confess, I had grave concerns about landing in the African bush full of lions. Unfortunately, I was unable to go at the last minute, and since then I have always had the nagging desire to “jump”. President George H. Bush jumps every year, so I thought why don’t I just do it! I am not 25 anymore, but neither is President Bush and so I recently decided to “take the plunge” in Hawaii this coming December 12th. As the event gets closer, however, I find my fear factor increasing and have considered backing out.

Getting back to stem cells and disease…I recently undertook speaking engagements for Cord Blood America, throughout the U.S., on the importance of cord blood collection for use in stem cell therapies. I had the privilege of working with a member of our Business Development Team, Ms. Lea Ann Stiller, whose daughter, Natalie, has Fanconi anemia, a rare and fatal hereditary disease. Natalie’s sister Emily’s cord blood was the very first cord blood collection and in 1989, Natalie was the first female to receive a cord blood transplant. Cord blood transplantation was new and the outcome was uncertain but Natalie’s transplant was a success and a major breakthrough. Natalie is now 25 and continues to do well.

In medicine, we tend to think that it is solely the physicians and scientists that drive the introduction of such new treatments, but after spending time with Lea Ann and Natalie, it became clear to me that these families, due to their unwillingness to let their children die, have actually themselves, through their courage and determination, paved the way for the almost 20,000 cord blood transplants that have occurred to date.
At the same time, I also had the privilege of meeting the delivery nurse, Ms. Janice Gibbs from Norton’s Hospital in Louisville, KY, who collected the cord blood for this historic procedure and who still feels the “power” of that important day.

My fear of jumping out of a plane pales in terms of Lea Ann’s fear of losing her child. To overcome my own fear, I decided, therefore, to jump to increase awareness about Fanconi anemia through the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, www.fanconi.org, and hopefully raise some needed funds for research. I am excited to do this and grateful that I was able to put the past years in perspective and truly understand why we do what we do. It’s not just about me anymore, but something more meaningful and for that I am thankful.

To make a donation to the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund follow this link www.fanconi.org/index.php/donate and let them know that you are donating on behalf of my sky diving jump on Dec 12th.

To all the Natalies of the world, this is for you.

To my colleague and friend, Erin Tecca, my thanks for your free spirit in joining me on the jump for this cause.

To my colleagues and friends at Cord Blood America Inc and our International Affiliates, I thank you for your support.

To our many investors, I hope this story tells another side of what Cord Blood America is all about. We work hard for you, but we work even harder for those who may benefit from these stem cell treatments.

My best wishes to all of our readers for the upcoming holiday season. I shall keep you updated.

Dr. Geoffrey O’Neill, VP of Operations, CorCell/Cord Blood America

For more information please visit the following sites:

Fanconi Anemia www.fanconi.org and to make donations www.fanconi.org/index.php/donate
Natalie Curry www.allaboutcordblood.com and www.nataliecurry.com
Saving Baby’s Cord Blood www.corcell.com

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