Dr. Lance Holemon Weighs In

An OB/GYN's perspective, written by Lance Holemon, MD

I am a board-certified OB/GYN in Phoenix, Arizona. It is my privilege to have been among the first physicians to collect newborn stem cells for my patients and have them stored with CBR.

I am also a grandfather of nine and have had the opportunity to save stem cells for all of them.

I first heard of the ability to collect and store newborn stem cells in the early 1990s. Prior to that time, the concept of stem cells (at least for me) only existed in the pages of embryology textbooks.

mobile chart

But then I realized that this umbilical cord blood and tissue contained stem cells — the grandparents to specialized cells in the body.

Stem cells play an important role throughout our lives. They can be recruited to help repair damaged tissue and are vital to the natural turnover of various tissues in our body, like blood. When you take them out and reintroduce them into the body, they can stimulate the body to heal itself in multiple ways. For this reason, I like to compare saving newborn stem cells to investing in a child’s future health.

desktop chart

One year after my granddaughter was born she was diagnosed with having had an in-utero stroke during an uncomplicated pregnancy. Fortunately, my wife and I had the privilege of being able to gift the collection and storage of her newborn stem cells with CBR at the time of her birth.

Having those stem cells available opened the door to an experimental protocol at Duke University. In July 2018, my granddaughter was reunited with her stem cells — or “super blood” as we called it in the family. Within just a few weeks after using the stem cells, my granddaughter’s physical therapy scores improved dramatically.

Though preservation may not seem as practical as a car seat, as adorable as a stuffed animal, or as necessary as a box of diapers, when the diagnosis came and treatment doors opened due to the availability of these cells, our family understood just how valuable a gift it was.

A PHYSICIAN’Sperspective:

  • There's only two things that (you can) potentially buy your new baby that are lifesaving: One is a good car seat, and the other is cord blood.

    Dr. Marra Francis, OB/GYN
    CBR medical consultant
  • Just like we didn't envision the powers of PCs thirty years ago, we may not be seeing all the uses of cord blood yet.

    Dr. LeeAnn Jensen, Immunologist
    National Institutes of Health
  • A really exciting area that's just now in the basic science lab, is the area where stem cells… can be used for going over to muscle cells like your heart muscle if you had a heart attack… Hopefully, in 20 or 30 or 40 years… these might be potential applications for stem cells, including umbilical cord blood stem cells.

    Dr. Stanton Goldman, Pediatric Hematologist Oncologist and Stem Cell Transplant Physician
    Medical City, Dallas, TX
  • Stem cell technology is evolving rapidly, offering innovative treatments where none previously existed. We get one opportunity to bank a child's stem cells that could be lifesaving one day. Why would we choose to discard them?

    Tricia Shimer MD, PA, Comprehensive Women’s Care
    Dallas, TX

Prepare today for your
family’s health tomorrow.

Join now