A ViaCord Family Helps Raise Awareness about Cord Blood Banking

Family TimeViaCord families help raise awareness about cord blood banking on a daily basis – something we are very grateful for. From Facebook posts about the decision to bank, to simple ‘Did you know about…’ conversations in the grocery store, ViaCord families want others to know about the value of cord blood. We recently caught up with a ViaCord mom, Dawn, who is doing just that through a new endeavor of hers.

In 2007, Dawn welcomed twin boys into the world, and almost exactly two years later she welcomed another set of twins into the world – this time a boy and girl! Along with her husband, Tim, Dawn has spent the last several years raising her little ones while continuing to work part-time and further her education. A Super-Mom? We’d say so!

Dawn chronicled her successes and failures, and made tools along the way that helped her navigate the day to day. From that a resource for busy parents, called Project Baby Management was born. In Dawn’s book you’ll find time-saving tips, checklists, and suggestions on how to use spreadsheets and technology to help stay organized. There is also a section entitled ‘What Happens To My Umbilical Cord?’ where Dawn talks about available options for cord blood banking, in a chapter on “Preparing for the Arrival”.

Dawn was gracious enough to share with us her personal decision to bank her children’s cord blood with ViaCord:

“When my first set of twins was born I looked into cord blood banking because I kept hearing about stem cell research in the news. As a mother, I thought it was an important item to looking into when having a child. Although convinced it was a great thing to do, unfortunately at that time the hospital where I was having my twins did not do private banking, only donation. So I was unable to bank my children’s cord blood at that time for my family.

A few years later when I was pregnant with my second set of twins I was thrilled to find out my local hospital now did do the cord blood banking. With two children, one with special needs, and two more on the way I felt it was important to do all I could for them and their future. My husband and I reviewed all the brochures from the hospital and looked online at the ViaCord website to review. There were so many more illnesses that were now being treated with stem cells from cord blood and we were amazed at the progress. In addition, just in those few years I had already heard so much more about stem cell research in the news, we knew it was something we wanted to do.

Our family’s medical history was an important factor in our decision to bank cord blood. With a strong history of diabetes on both sides of our family, just the possibility alone that my children could be spared (or have more treatment options) someday in the future was a chance I did not want to pass up. We know the odds are stacked against them medically in some areas with our family history, so we saw cord blood banking as a way we could possibly even the odds for them down the line.

 I talked about the decision with my pediatrician, family and friends. My pediatrician was on the fence about it, saying some people do it, some don’t. My husband and I decided when it comes to the health of our children; we wanted to be as prepared as possible! My parents were all in favor of it as well as they knew how much has changed in the medical field in their lifetime and know how much more could change in the future. When I brought up the topic with friends, many had never heard of it, but once I told them about it, they thought it was a logical thing to do as it was like we were investing in our children’s medical future.

With starting a family there comes a lot of costs, so the financial cost was a big consideration to take into account as well. We decided to do the monthly payment plan that is an option so that it was not a big cost upfront to us. We cut back on items those months in order to accommodate the payment but felt it was well worth the chance that it could help a family member someday. It just took some prioritizing financially and we were able to accommodate it. Planning ahead in this area is always important to do. You just don’t know when it might come in handy with four kids! Just knowing it is there is a good feeling and I am excited about the future possibilities stem cells from cord blood could bring to so many people as far as new treatment options for many ailments.”

Thank you Dawn for taking time out of your extremely busy schedule to share your story with us!

To find out more Project Baby Management please click here.

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