It feels like yesterday that I was just starting to learn about stem cell banking and asking dozens of questions about the process, and now, my nine-week-old baby's cells sit safely in the Netcells lab, there if we ever need them. The best-case scenario is that we never need them, but if we tragically become a statistic, I'm so glad we're covered with this potential gift of life. Of hope.
And this gift of life is what you can win this month in what is the most valuable giveaway I've ever run, not only in price, but in a value that can't really be quantified. Netcells is giving away free umbilical cord blood and tissue stem cell banking for 10 years, to the value of R22 400.
What's more, if any Rattle and Mum readers register to store their baby's stem cells with Netcells before close of business on Friday December 16 2016, they will get a R1 000 Baby City gift voucher on the successful storage of their baby’s stem cells.
Why is this prize essentially a gift of life? Here are some reasons:
- What if your child gets a disease that is treatable with stem cells?
- What if in 10 years' time, science has advanced to such a point that stem cells can be used to treat so much more. Already scientists are investigating the use of cord blood to treat cerebral palsy, autism and type-1 diabetes.
- Cord blood stem cells are currently being used to treat nearly 80 blood-related disorders and immune system conditions such as leukaemia, anaemia and immune deficiency diseases.
- If you ever need stem cells, the chance of finding a compatible donor/match through the bone marrow registry is 1 in 100 000.
Having been through the banking process this year, it's felt like I've gained a family in the Netcells team, along with knowledge and even more belief in science and what can be achieved tomorrow and beyond. I remember four days after my baby Rebecca was born, getting an SMS from our Netcells faciliator Wendy, which I've still got saved on my phone. The SMS read: "Congratulations, your baby's stem cells have been successfully stored. Please confirm the baby's names so we may complete your certificates. These will be emailed shortly."
I cried out of happiness, relieved that we had banked an excellent chance at my daughter's health, and secure that as parents we had done the best that we possibly could at the time for her wellbeing. I've said it before, but this means more than the designer nursery and the very expensive pram.
Netcells is regarded as one of the most established and reputable banking clinics in South Africa, and is accredited with the American Association of Blood Banks. It is THE ONLY stem cell bank in Southern Africa to have independent accreditation for the processing and storage of cord blood and tissue stem cells.
Every two years, Netcells is audited to ensure they meet international standards. This is a big deal – you want to ensure stem cells are in the best place and processed the correct way. It also means that you can more easily relocate cells overseas (if you emigrate, or if you need a transplant in another country, for example).
Here are some more good things to know about Netcells:
You don't need to pay in full upfront, Netcells has a number of payment options to choose from. If you select the 60-month payment plan you can pay as little as R295 a month.
Discovery Health affiliation
Netcells is the only stem cell service in South Africa listed by Discovery Health as a preferred service provider. Members receive a discount of up to 25% off the stem cell banking fee.
As Netcells is a private bank, they store for each family only, and don't carry out HLA-typing unless requested by the family. This is the test used to match you with a donor for your bone marrow or cord blood transplant.
For more information on Netcells and stem cell banking, watch this video:
To enter to win
- Comment on this post with the one thing you have learnt about stem cell banking through my experience.
- Share this post to Facebook (tag your preggie friends!)
- Follow Netcells on Facebook. (Please mention that you have followed these steps – we will be checking too).
- Please note that this prize is open to readers who are currently pregnant as the prize must be redeemed within the next nine months (before 21 August 2017). This prize is not transferable and cannot be exchanged for any other Next Biosciences products, or cash. The prize is open to South African residents only.
- To receive your R1 000 Baby City voucher, enter voucher code TANKOVPROM001 when registering for umbilical cord and tissue banking on the Netcells site.
- This giveaway closes on Monday December 5 at 9am, after which the winner will be announced on the Rattle and Mum Facebook page, and then emailed.
- It's not an entry requirement, but if you'd subscribe to my blog (via the right hand column of the home page), and my YouTube channel, I'd be most grateful.