Australian model Rebecca Judd and her husband Australian Football League player Chris Judd have decided to store their newborn daughter Billie Kate’s umbilical cord blood.
The reason? They want to be prepared should there ever come a time when stem cells could help their family.
The 31-year-old mother reportedly made the decision to store the blood, as tissue from the umbilical cord contains haematopoietic stem cells (which can be used to treat immune system disorders and generate red blood cells) and mesenchymal stromal cells (which can be grown into bone and cartilage).
Chris Judd has suffered from knee problems in the past – so if either of his children suffer from the same issues, the solution may already be frozen and waiting for them.
After the birth of their first child, Oscar, born in 2011, the Judds chose to store only the cord blood – but this time Rebecca decided they should store the extra tissue.
She told the Herald Sun:
“It made a lot of sense to store both the cord tissue and blood with our new daughter … Of course, you obviously hope to never be in a position to have to use it. But ensuring we stored this important cord tissue and cord blood — when you have only one opportunity at birth — made sense.”
So what motivates a parent to look that far into the future, and think about storing umbilical cord blood and tissue – at the moment of giving birth?
While some might find the motivation a bit morbid – in the sense that you are storing the blood for the sole purpose of dealing with the possibility of leukaemia, anaemia and autoimmune diseases in the future – it’s actually quite a sensible idea.