Giuliana and Bill are arranging to have their newborn son’s umbilical cord blood stored shortly after birth. The blood in the umbilical cord is rich in healthy stem cells that can be used in transplants to treat a variety of illnesses, including leukemia and sickle-cell disease, or for certain injuries.
The Rancics, who are the new spokespersons for Cord Blood Registry, believe that banking their son’s cord blood is a smart move.
Stem cells are the body’s building blocks for organ tissue, blood, and the immune system. Doctors started using cord blood stem cells more than 20 years ago to treat diseases that previously had been treated with bone marrow. Today, the primary type of stem cells in umbilical cord blood – called hematopoietic – help treat many serious illnesses and disorders.