Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cord Blood Stem Cells


Anyone that knows me knows the recent announcement that tax payer money will be used to fund Embryonic Stem Cell research has cut me to the quick.

I am amazed at how many people, even politicians, are in the dark about Stem Cells. The difference between Stem Cells and Embryonic Stem Cells? The cells are the same blank canvas that may lead to cures; however, embryonic means they were taken from a killed embryo-an embryo that would have been a person had it been implanted in a uterus, or not taken out of one. Regular ol' stem cells? Taken from Cord Blood at no cost of life. The same research can be done, the same cures found, just no one has to die, and tax money doesn't have to be used to support cutting up little embryos.

As I watched the news, one politician in a wheelchair claimed that now he had hopes of walking again. DUDE, Embryonic Stem Cell research has always been legal-it just wasn't TAX MONEY paying for it. It wasn't MY MONEY. If private people wanted to fund the research, then they could, out of their own pockets. Do you think if anyone had stumbled upon ANYTHING promising they wouldn't be out getting funding and support? And still, should my money be used to kill babies? I consider them babies, and I don't feel it is right that my tax money be used to now kill them.

BESIDES, you will get TONS, BILLIONS, more stem cells from CORD BLOOD than you ever will from an embryo. If you want a good amount of stem cells to research with, do it with the stem cells you get from having a baby born. It is the same, wonderful blank cells that can *possibly* be used to find cures to all our ailments, but no one has to die to get them.

My husband and I donated the cord blood from both of our babies to research and others needing transplants to fight leukemia or other ailments. If the hospital you are delivering at or your OBGYN does not offer cord blood donation, check here to see what you can do. Search around a few months before you are due, too, because everything does need to be set up to occur right after birth so the cord blood cells are viable for transplants or research.

The only way now, it seems, to fight the death of embryos is to offer another source of stem cells, and that my friends, is Cord Blood.

9 comments:

Momma said...

great post! and I agree with everything you said. I love the option of donation cord blood. I never thought of that before. To donate it do you still have to pay to get it? Cause that was what kept us from doing cord blood in the first place. the cost.

Miche said...

Hey, I just wanted to add, there were a few questions: The donation process is free for you, all cost is covered by the donation center, hostpital and OBGYN practice that collects it at birth. Also, though your cord blood is donated to research or use to help others (or both), should you ever need it, you could find it again if it has not been used and have it for your family. HOWEVER; there is some information out there that if you become sick, your cord blood is actually not the best thing to use, simply because teh genetic make up is predisposed to the disease you have (I think) and a better source for a cure would be a matched family memeber's cord blood. So your baby's cord blood could *maybe* save siblings and maybe mom and dad, but to *maybe* save your baby you would need sibling's cord blood, etc..Talk to your doctors though, they will know tons more than me :)

Mommy Bee said...

Darnit, I asked my OB about donating the cord blood when my son was born (I did ask him several months beforehand), and he didn't know anything about it. I searched around online a bit but wasn't able to find any info about where/how to donate. I WANTED to, and now thanks to you I have a link so we're gonna do it this time. :) THANK YOU!!

That little illustration just hits home though, doesn't it? Wow. Well written.

Casual Friday Everyday said...

Powerful post...powerful graphic.

Nell

CSO said...

Cord blood donation is amazing -- wasn't available with my first, but my second baby was a big-time donor!

John and Caitlin said...

It looks like I'm going to be the dissenting opinion on your blog...again! :)

I agree that donating cord blood is an amazing option. And I encourage everyone to do that. My research friends and I say thank you.

Yes, embryonic stem cell research has always been "legal". However, tax payer money would not pay for it. I wish I could express to you how terrible that is, because private funding is impossible to get. The lines of stem cells that were up and running and were still allowed to be funded are nearly all contaminated. Tax payer money is the easiest way to continue our research that benefits everyone. Research is horribly, unbelievably expensive. I want to throw up every time I see how much money my boss spends on reagents for me.

Futhermore, the stem cells we get from embryos are usually donated by fertility clinics. When people undergo fertility treatments, the excess embryos stay in cold storage for up to 5 years. After that five year period, they are normally incinerated (i.e. destroyed anyway) unless the couple consents to their donation to science. In my views, if you are going to destroy them anyway, shouldn't we get the most good out of it that we can?

Miche said...

Caitlin, you bring up a good point, as always :) In your line of argument, it does make sense-if they are going to be destroyed, then why not research? But, that can be a dangerous line of thought to go down. Where does that stop? What about death row inmates? Can we research on them? We are going to kill them anyway, right? Or what about children born so early they will die anyway, should be perhaps test on them? And what about adoption for the embryos? They are, after all, fertilized eggs, that will become a person if given the chance to thaw out.

You have a valid point though, and it is something to realize-sadly most of them will be destroyed, with no way to say wheather they would like to live or not-but even though research is all wonderful, and I am thankful for the things learned and developed through research, I still feel very strongly that my money should not be used for it, and that there are better, life-giving rather than life-taking ways of doing that. And I still love you and your opionons, thanks for sharing :) You always make my rants interesting :) lol!!

John and Caitlin said...

Miche

I'll spare you my thoughts on death row inmates for now, since it's not part of the conversation :)

The argument you use is a slippery slope argument. I mean, by that argument I could also say "but guns can kill people. Thats harm to a human life. We should ban all guns." The answer isn't to ban everything because we're afraid of what might possibly happen, potentialy, someday somewhere. The answer is to use what we have responsibly, respectfully, and as ethically as we can.

Believe it or not, there are whole classes related to the ethics of science. Whole boards who do nothing all day but sit around and decide whose protocol is ethical and who isn't. I myself was subjected to a two year class of research ethics, dealing with such issues as stem cell research, and research on death row inmates. Its not an easy subject by far.

I have to look at it rationally. In an ideal world, there would be no left over embryos after in vitro. But there are. And the chances that a couple are going to donate those embryos to someone else who is infertile is very, very slim. So they choose to destroy the embryo, either in a furnace or by donating it to people like me. Personally, I view the wanton destruction with no gain as wasteful. But I look at it as every life has the potential to donate something to humanity. Those embryos, those potential lifes are contributing to humanity by the tremendous insights we gain from it.

And I can understand why you're upset about your money contributing towards that research. But I ask you to look at it from a different angle. I can tell you first hand that private funding is all but non existent (and I've looked for some for my work). Public, tax payer money is all we have. You money is going towards my education (thank you!). You are paying for hundreds of students like me who just want to make our world better. You are paying for research that could help John's mom walk again. You are paying for people to ensure that every piece of research that we develop is done as ethically as we can do it. (Ask me about animal research sometime...the guidelines for the protection of a mouse are probably better than the benefits for humans in the constitution). I guess that because this is my livelihood, I'm slightly passionate about it. I apologize for the novel. :)

Miche said...

Caitlin,

Haha, I have a feeling we would end up agreeing about what should be done to some of the death row inmates...esp those that hurt children.

And you are right, it is a slippery slope argument I was going down, but I guess my whole point was that ALL life should be treated as LIFE,and they shouldn't be destroyed at all, in any way. And I am glad my taxes pay for your school :) Whoo hoo!

And just a little known fact about me: I am a huge pro gun person AND you are welcome to leave novels here anytime-you do a WONDERFUL job of giving us all a new perpective and new thoughts to consider and I love it :)

By the way-we will be back the end of May for a visit! Whoo hooo!