Thursday, September 12, 2013

Possibilities: Cord Blood Banking

With the recent flurry of stem cell research associated with HLHS infants, Sisters by Heart wanted to make certain our expecting families were aware of an important opportunity through Cord Blood Registry® (CBR®).

CBR offers the Newborn Possibilities Program which provides families, with an identified medical need, free cord blood processing and storage for five years. Because of the potential of newborn stem cells as a treatment for HLHS, CBR is accepting applications from families expecting a baby with a prenatal diagnosis of HLHS for inclusion in their program. Applications are reviewed and accepted on a case-by-case basis.  CBR encourages all expecting HLHS families to apply. The ultimate benefit, if successful, would be treatment for HLHS… if your application is accepted:  FREE banking and storage for five years.


"I had always thought about saving my baby’s stem cells but never had the funds to do so, that's why I am so excited about this program. The application is extremely simple, consisting of some personal information, a doctor's signature, and medical file to confirm the HLHS diagnosis."  


~ Kristina Marsh, Expecting HLHS Momma.

We've asked another of our expecting moms to share her experience in applying for the Newborn Possibilities Program.

“Thank God for Sisters By Heart. At 19 weeks we were diagnosed with HLHS for our little "Peanut." I immediately turned to the internet and looked for others out there that had lived that horrifying day when I felt the world crumble. There they were, my Sisters that I have never had. One particular “sister” got stuck with me because of where we live, and THANK YOU GOD FOR HER. Natasha Saywer heard my cry for help and responded to me immediately. She put herself out there and came to meet me with her little heart baby, Evan. It was one of the greatest days of my life. My hope for help became a reality for me.

As I sat with Natasha over breakfast, drilling her with questions, I fell in love with her HLHSer, Evan. He's my hero. We discussed so many things, including cord blood banking. Natasha mentioned the potential for free banking through CBR. I looked onto the idea and ran with the information she'd provided me.

Three days after meeting Natasha for breakfast, I called CBR and inquired about such a program. A CBR representative informed me about the Newborn Possibilities Program. She described it as an easy, free process. I provided my email address and she emailed me everything that I needed. I filled out a short application and sent one page to my OBGYN for completion. Within a few days, I faxed the forms back to CBR.

A week after applying for the program, I received a phone call from my CBR representative. She told me that CBR's Medical Board approved my application for free banking and five years of storage, free of charge! I was ecstatic! After the first five years, we will need to begin paying $130 annual storage fee if we want to keep our baby’s cord blood stored for future use. But, the initial banking and first five years free is an INCREDIBLE savings.

Easy and Painless.... Thank you so much again Sisters By Heart and Natasha Sawyer for guiding me. Thank you so much Cord Blood Registry for accepting our application! I know Sisters By Heart does a lot behind the scenes and myself, my boyfriend and "peanut' are so thankful for everything you do not only for us but for everyone. We love you all’.

Leigh-Anne Dowdle

If you want to learn more about CBR’s Newborn Possibilities Program, please email us at or visit