Monday, July 12, 2004

Cord Blood

Mae and I have been considering Cord Blood Banking for Baby. I can imagine how yuppie we must sound right now, but going along with a fad is the last thing on our minds.

Basically, cord blood or stem cell blood is the blood that is collected from a baby's umbilical cord on the day he's born. This is stored in a medical facility for future use, supposedly for treating the child in the event that the kid develops cancer, leukemia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, diabetes and a lot of other medical afflictions. I suppose you might consider cord blood banking as a sort of insurance policy for Baby.

Here's the problem - it's expensive. RM 2,500 pays for the kit that collects the blood. Subsequently, there's a small annual storage and maintenance fee or RM 250. The other problem is, we have only one chance to collect this blood - during Baby's birth. So there's not a lot of time to think. *ack*

But still, we might go for it. We'll just have to tighten our belts a little and eat only bread for the rest of the year. :(

Currently there are two companies doing this in Malaysia. There's CryoCord and StemLife which are basically offering the same package. We'll need to decide between the two.

CryoCord has a cool name. Anything with the word "cryo" or "cryogenics" is cool. But it has a really sucky logo. StemLife, on the other hand has a really kick-ass logo which is important to me.

I know I sound really superficial but as far as I am concerned, any company with a well designed logo, website and literature is a company who saw it fit to go the extra mile. An organisation with a conviction to its customer. Besides, a company with a professionally designed logo is a company who hired people like me. So if I support such an organisation, I am essentially supporting the graphic design and/or advertising fraternity. I'm watching out for the brethren of communications. *ahem*

But dammit, StemLife got Alex Yoong to be their poster boy. It's so cheesy. *sigh* Decisions, decisions... whaddya think, folks?


  1. hey that sounds really innovative! cutting edge, i would do it, heck i pay that much every month for my server anyway.
    anyway, i have this little problem with sites that doesn't update the gives me pause and it's one of the deciding factors when i choose something. i know, it sounds silly, but anyway:
    cryocord is still copyright 2003 while stemlife is 2004 and it seems to have a more professional website.
    and that's even after points were deducted for showing alex yoong photo.

  2. Well, if you feel that you have done sufficient research on both companies (I don't want to think of what they REALLY do with some of the cord blood! Horror stories are flashing through my brains now... >

  3. Well, my Mrs' gynae did recommend Stemlife for us. Though we got discounts, but we decided not to go for it.
    We actually called them for enquiries, but somehow we just got the impression that they don't really care. No follow-up by their personnel, no info, just take-it-or-leave-it attitude.
    Few things that u might need to check:
    - their storage facility (cyropreservation technology)
    - how long can they store?
    - any backup facility eg. blackout, fire
    - handling and contamination.
    - insurance?
    I checked out their first biomedical company to be located in MDC`s Centre for Health Innovation and Medical Enterprises (CHIME) Cyberjaya and it was always closed too.

  4. I think you should do it..before the government decides to ban any form of genetic services.

  5. go for it...let the blood drip down !! ...oo ...for it's a life giving liquid...oo .... YEAH!!...
    WHoopS...sorry... my otherself ...wanted to have the blood for other reasons

  6. Hmm, think of it as an alternative health insurance. I'd do it if I have kids.

  7. I have that same peeve, killuminati! :) But you sure put it in perspective when you mentioned that you pay the same for your website.
    Hahahha!! :lol: Mei, I don't even know how to respond to that.
    Good advice there, Papi. Thanks, dude.
    I'm sure they won't ban this one, Zsarina. It is after all one of the 7 flagship applications of the MSC? But with our Govt, you can never really know. *sigh*
    :lol: Leo, you ought to get your other-other-self to beat your other-self a little more often!
    Yeah, melle. It would be some form of insurance. But beyond that, who knows what other cool uses they may have for the thing later on in the future. ;)

  8. I'm with Papi on this one - what you really want to know is how good they are at preserving the blood sample. If they've got a fancy website really doesn't tell you much other than that they are good at marketing (although it might imply that they're a bigger company). Personal service and a lot of information is also important :)

  9. Hmmm....did half of my comment just disappeared or what? I swear, today is so not my day. :(

  10. "I am essentially supporting the graphic design and/or advertising fraternity. I'm watching out for the brethren of communications. *ahem*"
    Thanks for looking out for my rice bowl. Sob. sob. So touched.

  11. Heh heh. No harm in looking out for the design and advertising details of a company - well, if they bother to sell themselves effectively, it always makes for a good impression (instead of staring at a website that claims to be last updated in 2001 or something like that). Wooha for us in the design/advertising field. ;)

  12. yes...james...i'll beat my otherself up soon =)

  13. I think no point lah doing that. People now are overly concern over things such as these. Like the Y2k bug remember? it is a total hogwash, yet people spent millions to make all the computers Y2k- compliant. Whoever comes out with this, is like playing GOD.

  14. Actually, it's really worth it to save your child's cord blood. If your child (god forbid) develops cancer, leukemia, etc, the doctors sometimes would recommend the mother to have another baby, so they can use the cord blood. I can't remember the scientific reason, maybe you can check up on this.

  15. go for it, james. blood cords are the future. best u talk to both companies, see what they can offer u, and compare their benefits etc b4 deciding. don't judge just by looking at websites :P btw, auyong is bllleeehhh!!!

  16. That's true, Flip. Some companies grow too big for their customers.
    It's the gremlins of the web, Mei! :)
    :lol: Fly, Fly...
    Wooha, Strizzt! :lol:
    You're right about the playing God part, but only to a certain extent, Gina. Unlike the Y2K bug, cord blood is already in use to cure. Besides, who know what other uses the stem cells can have with continuing R&D.
    Yes, you're right Hmm. I've deen a documentary on that before.

  17. Hehheh, who's Auyong, Olivia? :)

  18. Hi. Advise is to make a visit in person if you are serious about it. Someone I know chose CryoCord after making a visit to both places, but that's all I will say - go see for yourself. Cord blood banking is not a genetic engineering service - nothing more than keeping a sample of your baby's blood cells for possible future use. As of today, it is only proven to be useful for a particular range of cancers - the kind involving killing off bone marrow cells. All the other claims are just pie in the sky. I expect technological change to render this concept obsolete soon - when they can harvest cells directly from a cancer patient to clone replacements, before treatment. But you'll never know whether, if ever, such technology will be developed.

  19. wow, i far behind time :o( gotta catch up with your posts, been busy lately.
    I linked you to my new site, and added a tagline too it as you place your cursor over loopymeals 8)

  20. I know I sound really superficial but as far as I am concerned, any company with a well designed logo, website and literature is a company who saw it fit to go the extra mile. An organisation with a conviction to its customer.
    In that case, comparing The Star's website to NST's, Star is so sunk... :lol:

  21. man, din knoe graphic designers are so shallow..blehhh~~ :P

  22. Hmm, you have some valid points there, Wei Yi. We'll have to think carefully.
    Glad to have you back, KA. Thanks for the link.
    Nah, Irene. At least they made it a point to improve it, though it still looks very much like one of the sensationalist, gossipy supermarket tabloids to me.
    We're trained that way Leokoo! :)

  23. Invest in a proper infant car seat before jumping on this boat...
    We are 22 weeks pregnant and will not be storing cord blood- somehow it seems a money-making venture- we could afford it, but also believe we should manage God's money wisely.

  24. Think different
    1. What is the likelihood of your child getting leukemia?
    2. What is the likelihood of your child getting any other childhood malignancy?
    3. Is an autologous cord stem cell transplant following hi dose/myeloablative chemo BETTER than stem cell/bone marrow transplantation from a matched donor in ALL sorts of malignancies?
    Ask a haematologist.
    Personally, I think it's a total waste of money, given the resources I have.
    Of course, it may not be if you're the unfortunate 1/10^5 who get acute leukemia.
    Bear in mind though an autologous stem cell transplant MAY NOT cure your childhood leukemia, and the odds are definitely against you if you're an adult.
    Like everything else, you make an educated guess on the odds and decide.

  25. We have a car seat, SB. But yes, we've been thinking hard about being good stewards with our money. Oh well... :)
    Hey Rob, that was a jibe at my Apple-lovin' wasn't it. :lol: But yes, you have very valid points here. It's not so much about calculating the odds. I do suspect that the Cord Blood people do over-promise a little.

  26. Hi James and Friends of James,
    I'm aware that many people have doubts about our service, many wondered whether this was just another fad that would go away. Frankly, more than USD 50 billion of investor money is being routed to stem cell funding and related projects. Further, there will always be people who have conditions which are irreparable by drugs or surgery. Stem Cells is a completely different concept of regenerative therapy and this is why the leading scientists and clinicians are sitting up and taking a closer look.
    You can find out more at my blog at
    James, I wrote an entry on your comments, thank you for taking pride in us. Our service is continually improving, please forgive us if we were slow starters. After all, it takes time and skill to polish a jewel.

  27. Hey there, Sharon! :) Thanks for dropping by.