Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Your Monthly Visitor Could Save Your Life

I remember reading a book by Christoper Reeve where he talked about stem cell research and the potential to hopefully be able to reverse spinal cord injuries in the future. I came away from reading his book thinking that the future really is in stem cell research, but still having mixed feelings because of the controversial nature of stem cell research, especially when we start talking about embryonic stem cells.

I recently found out about C'Elle and their less controversial approach to stem cell harvesting. The idea is that there are stem cells in menstrual fluid, actually from the lining of the uterus, that have many properties and characteristics similar to both bone marrow and embryonic stem cells. Women can collect their own stem cells with the C'Elle kit and send them to their laboratory for processing, isolation and cryo-preservation. What that means is that a woman can have potentially life-saving cells available should she ever need them. They will definitely be a genetic match for the donor, and possibly for her close relatives, too.

Stem cells are different than other adult cells. They have the potential to turn into many different types of cells. They have the potential to be used in the future to treat all kinds of diseases and potentially life threatening conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and spinal cord injury. While there's no guarantee these cures will be found, statistics from the National Institute of Health suggest there may be over 700 clinical trials related to adult stem cells underway right now. I think they've only begun to understand what these cells can do.

Menstrual blood. Who knew? You've put up with your period every month for how long? Did you ever dream that it could possibly save your life? Is this something you'd like to do or is the C'Elle kit something you'd give to your daughters so they can bank their stem cells? You could give them an iPod, or you could give them the gift of life. Again.

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1 comment:

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