Aug
0

Is Cord Blood Banking Expensive?

Image courtesy of D.O.A http://www.flickr.com/photos/d_o_a/

Image courtesy of D.O.A http://www.flickr.com/photos/d_o_a/

While raising awareness for cord blood preservation I have spoken to many different people. I often times encounter the same question. ” Isn’t it really expensive?” The answer is NO.  But then again, can you put a price on a life?

The cost of private cord blood banking can rang anywhere from $800 to $3,000 depending on the cord blood bank.  However most banks offer very reasonable payment plans.  It is a small price to pay to ensure that your babies cord blood will be used at your decression. 

Let me ask you this: “Do you have a cell phone?” “Do you watch cable?” ”Do you go on vacations?” These are all things you CAN live without! Now let me tell you what you would find unbearable to live without: YOUR FAMILY! Currently the stem cells found in cord blood can treat 75 different diseases.  This doesn’t  include the revolutionary research being conducted every day which is increasing this number!

  If you cannot afford to privatly bank the cord blood then you have  the option of public cord blood banking.   With this option you can donate the blood to research or choose to have it stored in hopes of it being a match for someone.

I cannot express to you how lucky I am to have parents who loved me enough to know the value of this life saving resource!  Everyday I make it my mission to educate people about cord blood. Without it I wouldn’t be living…..and I don’t mean just living I am living, and pursuing all of my dreams.  When I count all my blessings I get a smile on my face.

DON’T throw life away, SAVE a life, SAVE the Cord!

Please help me spread awareness of this incredible miracle! You can help by updating your status on facebook and twitter!

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Jul
2

Alarming news for Minorities Representation in Cord Blood!

Since the development of Cord blood banks in 1989, several people have reaped the amazing rewards they have to offer! Many, many lives have been saved and the research completed has been extremely promising. Awareness is  without a doubt the greatest obstacle to the expansion of cord blood banking. However also among these obstacles is that  banks all over the world have an alarmingly low number of cord blood units  available to represent minorities.

Highly underrepresented:

  • Asian
  • African American
  • Hispanic
  • Mixed Ethnicities

Did you know that Caucasians have a 50% better chance at finding a donor through the national marrow program? For others the chance can drop to below 15%!  There are a few major reasons for these staggering statistics.  One of the biggest reasons is that the minorities listed above  have a larger variation of HLA types found in there blood than Caucasians. “What is HLA types?”, you ask? An HLA type is what makes each individuals blood unique. It is the determining factor used when looking for a donor.  So when minorities, especially with a mixed background, are searching for a donor, the odds of finding a match are much higher.

I think it’s safe to say, that this is a major problem!  The solution is simple! We need to raise awareness of cord blood preservation and increase bone marrow registrations. Everyone deserves a fighting chance! There is NO better time than right now! July is Cord Blood Awareness month..together we can spread the word!

 You can help by:  Tweeting on twitter, updating your status on facebook and sharing this valuable news with everyone you know!

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Jun
18

My Sister's Keeper…..The TRUE story!

My Keepers....Audrey and Emily!

My Keepers....Audrey and Emily!

This weekend is the release of the much  anticipated movie, “My Sister’s Keeper”. The movie is based on the very popular book, “My Sister’s Keeper” written by Jodi Picoult. This story is very close to my story, the only difference; mine is TRUE! If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if “My Sister’s Keeper”  was based on my family’s story I’d be a millionaire by now!!  ”My Sister’s Keeper” is practicaly IDENTICAL to our story :

  • The main character and I were both terminally ill at a young age. We both suffered from renal failure and blood disaeases.
  • We were both lucky enough to have  parents that would do anything to keep us alive!
  • We both had countless surgeries.

BUT the biggest difference is that my sister Emily was not genetically designed , she was a miracle.  She was born a complete match, not by science but by pure chance. She never complained or even hesitated to help, and thats what makes her a true hero! She was destined to be my keeper, and when I count my blessings I count her twice!   Both stories have one huge underlying theme: family.  Without a strong, close and loving family, I wouldn’t be here today!

“My Sisters courage”, my “Mothers strength” and “my Fathers hope” are the words that run across the screen during the previews for the film. Every time I see this, I feel a tug at my heart strings.  I can’t help but feel very emotional! It is a very bittersweet feeling: I feel happy that more people will be educated on these issues, while  at the same time ,I feel a little disappointment that more people won’t realize how real this is.

There will be THINGS  in life that’ll make you happy, TIMES in life you will  never forget, but it’s the PEOPLE in your life that will  ALWAYS matter the most!

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

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