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Suze Orman Encourages Cord Blood Banking

The personal finance expert Suze Orman, who found fame on Oprah, recently addressed the importance of making cord blood banking a priority. Her show features a segment called “Can I Afford It?” in which she takes calls from viewers and provides candid financial advice on the air.

An expectant mom called in for advice as to whether it made financial sense to store the baby’s umbilical cord blood. The caller explained that her doctor recommended banking baby’s cord blood, and based on her own research, she thought it was a good idea.

Suze advised the caller, saying “let me just make this easy for you, since I am a believer in stem cell research and I am a believer that we need to do things like this…even if you couldn’t quite afford it at this point, I would have you figure out how you could.” She added enthusiastically, “Go on, save your baby in the future.”

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Free Cord Blood Banking

It can cost anywhere from $1,000-$2,000 for umbilical cord blood banking and about $100/year for storage and maintenance. This week, Catherine Claeys of the National Marrow Donor Program in Minneapolis released the following information in the Washington Post Health Section.

Banking umbilical cord blood is useful when there is a sibling with a diagnosed medical condition that could be treated with a transplant of cord blood from the new baby.

A program recently implemented by the National Marrow Donor Program and the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration offers these families the opportunity to have the cord blood of a new baby collected and stored at no cost. The cord blood may then be used to treat the sibling with a disease such as leukemia, lymphoma, a sickle cell disorder, an immune deficiency or a metabolic disease. An estimated 5,000 families could benefit from the Related Donor Cord Blood Program each year.

Additional information and resources about the program and public banking can be found at www.bethematch.org/cord.

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