There is growing evidence that saving your baby's umbilical cord stem cells could help your child later in life. Two-year-old Dallas Hextell has cerebral palsy, meaning that he was born with some damage to his brain that affects his motor skills. There is no cure.
But, because his parents had arranged to save his cord blood at birth and store it at a registry, they were able to enroll in a study at Duke University where researchers transfused the stem cells from Dallas's cord blood back into his blood stream, to try to fix his damaged brain cells.
Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, of Duke University Medical Center, said, "The procedure is actually relatively straight forward and generally risk free because we're using a child's own cells that have been frozen at the time they were born."
Just five days after this experimental treatment, Dallas talked for the first time, waved his hand, and even walked- all things he had never done before.
Less than 1% of banked cord blood is ever used, but, like any life insurance policy, you do it for the unexpected.