Sibling Connection Program: Helping Families in Need

Sibling Connection Program: Helping Families in Need

Terms and conditions apply for this program. Note that only expecting families are eligible, and discounts may not be granted retroactively to families already enrolled. Please contact the Lifebank team directly with any questions and to apply for enrollment into the Sibling Connection Program.

Diagnosis of a serious disease for your child can be heartbreaking for the entire family. But if your child has received such a diagnosis and you are pregnant with another child, stem cells from your baby’s placental and cord blood may provide a treatment for your sick child. That’s why Lifebank offers the Sibling Connection Program.

Researchers and doctors throughout the world have been studying the impact of stem cell transplants on certain blood diseases and other disorders like Autism and Cerebral Palsy. Lifebank understands the powerful potential behind this science, which led to the creation of our Sibling Connection Program for families in need.

The Sibling Connection Program may eliminate or significantly reduce the cost of stem cell banking for expecting families with a child currently in need of a stem cell transplant. The Program requires screening and approval from our Medical Affairs department to determine a family’s eligibility for the program.

Studies show that full-siblings having the same mother and father have the greatest chance – 25% or higher – of being a suitable “HLA match” to their sibling in need of a stem cell transplant.1 HLA matching identifies an immunologically compatible donor & recipient, which lowers the likelihood of transplant complications such as Graft vs. Host Disease (GvHD), which causes the recipient’s body to reject the transplant.2 This means siblings can be each other’s best chance to receive a successful stem cell transplant leading to recovery.

Stem cell transplants are currently being used to treat a variety of blood diseases, such as leukemias and lymphomas. Research has shown that umbilical cord blood contains hematopoietic stem cells, which are crucial for rebuilding diseased blood with new and healthy blood.3 These stem cells from cord blood are currently being used to treat approximately 80 life-threatening conditions.4 The Sibling Connection Program gives your family the option to store your newborn’s stem cells as a possible treatment for their sibling’s condition when accepted by your treating physician. If approved to participate in Lifebank’s Sibling Connection Program, your family becomes eligible to receive a significant discount on initial upfront fees and potentially up to 5 years of free storage.

There is also exciting research underway testing the impact of stem cell treatments on Autism and Cerebral Palsy. These are not yet approved therapies, but a recent clinical trial at Duke University studied the infusion of autologous umbilical cord blood (blood from the patient’s own body) in children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder). The study concluded that it was safe and feasible to perform autologous umbilical cord blood infusions in children with ASD. 5 This is a significant first step for future trials to study how these same cellular therapies may lead to approved therapies to alleviate the symptoms of ASD. Lifebank has proudly been able to help families who have participated in trials such as these at Duke.

Lifebank prides itself in helping families in some of their most challenging times by providing expert assistance with newborn cord blood banking. Our dedicated professionals are here to provide you with the most up-to-date information possible and are committed to working towards a healthy future for your family. To find our if your family qualifies for the Sibling Connection Program, please reach out to our team at info@lifebankusa.com or call us at (877) 543-3226.

REFERENCES:

  1. Sibling Stem Cell Donor Experiences at a Single Institution. March 2008. National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2293127/.
  2. Sibling Stem Cell Donor Experiences at a Single Institution. March 2008. National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2293127/.
  3. Stem Cell or Bone Marrow Transplant: How Stem Cell and Bone Marrow Transplants Are Used to Treat Cancer. March 2020. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/treatment-types/stem-cell-transplant/why-stem-cell-transplants-are-used.html
  4. Therapies Available & Diseases Treated. Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/diseases.
  5. Autologous Cord Blood Infusions Are Safe and Feasible in Young Children With ASD. April 2017. Stem Cells Translational Medicine. https://stemcellsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/sctm.16-0474