This weekend, we had an opportunity to visit and tour the CBR facility down in Tucson, Arizona. We're big advocates for cord blood banking, and banked both Emerson and Zoe's cord blood. By the time Zoe was born, we also chose to bank cord tissue (rich in the type of stem cells used to regenerate damaged heart tissue in adults suffering a heart attack.) We asked a few of her treating physicians about banking; all informed us there was no stem cell therapy for HLHS at the time, but "who knows what we'll be able to do 10 years from now." With that, how could we not bank? Less than 3 years later, we're already seeing progress with HLHS and stem cell research.
The girls weren't half as interested in touring the CBR facility as Caleb and I. They couldn't care less that their stem cells were being stored in "dewars" containing liquid nitrogen, or that the backup generator for the entire facility was ginormous, or that the lab which processes all incoming stem cells was on the second floor, or that the cells inside the dewars have already given hope and life to hundreds of families. Zoe made her disinterest abundantly clear during the near 45 minute tour.
Thankfully, before the tour, we were able to get photographs of the girls in front of their "dewars" which stores their cord blood/tissue.
|Emmy and Zoe sitting in front of Zoe's cord blood dewar|
|The girls, doing a bit of filming for CBR|
|Faux excitement about stem cells|
|Family photo in front of Zoe's cord tissue dewar|
|Good luck hug that we'll be able crack open dewar 49 someday|
|Roaming the halls and checking out the lab|
At the end of the tour, I caught a glimpse of Zoe staring at the dewars. I hope she was willing medical advancements at that moment - so we can use her stem cells to someday strengthen that half a heart and keep it beating strong inside her tiny chest.
|A glimpse - on the brink of stem cell therapy|