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preserving what money can't buy with ViaCord


myself and a fellow Blogher blogger at the ViaCord event



What the heck does a minimalist fashion and lifestyle blog have to do with science? That's what you'll be wondering quite soon, which is completely understandable as it was the question that was repeatedly popping up over and over again while posing for the picture above in the lobby of one of the world's largest PR firms for a supremely over-my-level-of-comprehension conference event for ViaCord. But as with most things judged based on ignorance with just a smidgin of self-absorption, my mind was blown that there was a whole industry I knew nothing about that was saving as many lives as stilettos were tripping up not so effortless fashionistas strolling on cobblestone streets. Is it that we all have our heads to far up our you know whats, or is it more than that? When I mused about my minimalist number (a number that's so much less embarrassing for people to proclaim than the other number, cough cough) I posed a question to you all: what would life loom like if we weren't spending 70% of our time buying crap we don't need? Becoming minimalist or living more consciously is not just about saving face, saving debt, or saving the environment, we can actually be in tune with opportunities that can save lives. I should know seeing as how my lifelong dream is to have even just a fraction of Oprah or Bill Gates' fortune so I can spend my latter life as a philanthropist. Well low and behold, not going into debt for the sake of collecting Givenchy bags because some superficial fashion blogger said so means I can also benefit my family because yes, being a mother one day is a dream that will forever trump having the biggest wardrobe among my circle of friends.

Having the chance to face this secret world of science and medical technology was illuminating for me. I was so honored to be chosen to attend this small intimate event in New York two weeks ago so that I could come face to face with exactly what I find to be at the heart of minimalism. Declutter what doesn't matter to make room for what does, whether that's now or in the future, since no one knows just what cards we will be dealt on any given day.

Through genetic predisposition, some children face life threatening or disabling disease. The key to treating these diseases may exist in cord blood and tissue cells present at birth. Depending on the disease being treated, using an individual's own cells is better and sometimes required. Other times, donor cells are necessary. But, a family gets only one chance to keep this potentially life-giving tissue. You can't buy this opportunity back later; it has to be preserved.

How Does Cord Blood and Tissue Banking Work?

The process of obtaining cord blood and tissue is painless, safe, and simple for the baby and parents. After the child's birth, the cells and tissue are collected from the umbilical cord after it's clamped and cut in the usual way. The sample is taken from the part of the cord that is still attached to the placenta, not the baby. The sample is collected in a sterile bag and sent to the cord banking facility for processing and cryostorage. It remains there until needed.

Why Should Families Consider Cord and Tissue Banking?
When your beautiful baby is born, you imagine all the things he or she will do and become. That love you feel gives you such an overwhelming knowledge that you would do or provide anything needed to protect your child. It's a love like no other.

However, you can't really see into the future. You hope for happy and healthy lives. But, sometimes sad and unforeseen circumstances lead to illness and disability. What if you knew you had a way to potentially save your child's life, or improve their quality of life? What would you give, or give up?

Cord blood and tissue banking is one of those gifts that no price tag can define. The current and future value is unmeasurable and untapped. Just a few conditions that are being studied for potential use in pediatric and adult treatment include:

• cerebral palsy
• autism
• type 1 diabetes
• spinal cord injuries,
• heart failure and stroke
• neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis.

Who Is ViaCord, and How Can They Help?

ViaCord is a trusted and private cord blood and tissue bank that has been operating for more than 20 years. Their goal is to give the best services to families, as well as to promote the science and technology of stem cell research.

Only about 5% of parents now preserve their baby's cord blood and tissue. But, the known and potential benefits are increasing. This is an industry that is posed to take off. But, to help families now, ViaCord has actually lowered the cost of banking a child's cord blood and tissue. The service cost runs from about $1200 - $2645 (plus storage fees). That's about $10.00 per day over 9 months of pregnancy.

What could you give up to make this a reality for your family? One fast food lunch a day? A couple of daily double mocha lattes? A weekly manicure and pedicure? By simply cutting back on a few luxuries, you can give your child/ren a gift they cannot buy for themselves.



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