Rebecca posted a comment on my last entry that I felt warranted an answer in a separate post.
We will be banking cord blood from Baby Bear. Since we have a child who is currently undergoing cancer treatment (and even if he were done with treatment and in remission, we'd still be eligible), we receive free cord blood banking and five years free storage from ViaCord, through their Sibling Connection program. After five years, we can either donate it or we can spend the money to continue to bank it.
There are some cases of Wilms in which they do stem cell rescue paired with high-dose chemotherapy, but the stem cells are harvested from the patient. Hopefully, The Boy will never need that. Donated stem cells can sometimes be used to treat leukemia, which we REALLY hope we never need.
Of course, no one really expects that they'll need any of this stuff, but sometimes people do.
What I don't get is, why don't they just take everyone's cord and placenta, unless they don't consent or decide to bank it privately, and use THAT for stem cell research? Why all this bellyaching about sanctity of life when you're just using something that may otherwise be thrown out, that helped give life to someone...probably because it is too expensive, and much more fun to complain about.
Speaking of stem cells, they are in breastmilk. Go boobies.