Umbilical cord blood banking has the potential to help families provide their children with options for therapy later in life if ever the need should arise. In the US, many states have passed laws making it mandatory for doctors to inform expecting parents about cord blood banking.
Alabama is not one of those states yet, but supporters are lobbying the state government to join other jurisdictions in making cord blood education a legal obligation. Specialists within the state say many families that are aware of the benefits make the choice to bank their baby’s cord blood stem cells, but hope they will never need the sample.
The Dalton family in Madison, Alabama became aware of cord blood banking during a class on the birthing process at a local hospital. After their daughter Charlotte was born and was diagnosed with a rare disorder, the Daltons are very relieved they chose to follow the advice and bank Charlotte’s cord blood.
Gena Dalton, Charlotte’s mother says her pregnancy was very healthy and that Charlotte was delivered without any complications. Gena had Charlotte’s cord blood collected and the family went home to live out their lives.
But at 7 months old, Charlotte was overcome by intense seizures and rushed to the hospital. The Daltons learned their baby suffered from a rare disorder, and doctors say there is currently no medication that can improve or potentially cure the condition. Gena says that given their limited options, she is grateful that they learned about cord blood.
“My husband and I are confident that it’s only a matter of time before they will be utilizing her stem cells.”
Other families in Alabama are also pressuring the government to make it obligatory for doctors to inform their patients about cord blood banking.