Stem cell banking gives hope

by Taryn Vollmer | 24 August 2021

To CryoSave Family,

I am writing to thank you yet again for your fabulous service.   This has been the second time we have stored our stem cells with you and you have made the experience a memorable one.

I have always felt passionate about my children saving their stem cells.  I had a boyfriend when I was younger and he was diagnosed with Leukaemia at the age of 26.  His only chance of survival was a bone marrow transplant.  He was half Italian and half Scottish so finding a bone marrow match was always going to be a challenge.   We managed to find a match in Germany however it wasn’t a 100% match.  This created all sorts of complications and unfortunately, he died shortly after the transplant.  This was the first time I learned about stem cells and the benefit of harvesting them.  I always wonder if he would be alive today if he had harvested his own at birth.  A thought that could have so easily have been answered if only our parents were more informed regarding stem cells and harvesting.

So naturally, when I fell pregnant with my first child, CryoSave was a no-brainer and the process to harvest and store the stem cells was a breeze.  To cut a long story short, we were recently blessed to have another child via a surrogate.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer 5 years ago and to save my life and avoid metastatic breast cancer, the only option that I had was to get rid of the hormone that spreads my cancer namely estrogen.  This resulted in a full hysterectomy at the age of 36.  I had been blessed to have done a fertility cycle before the operation and had two embryos available for surrogacy.  Only two chances of which the first was successful in March this year.  I was unsure if we could do stem cell harvesting using a surrogate.  Everything surrogate-related is very complicated in South Africa so I expected the same with CryoSave.  To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.  The cryo-save people knew exactly what I was talking about and directed myself and my surrogate through the process.  It was simple and easy and harvesting was a dream.  Once again thank you for your excellent service.

I now see stem cell harvesting differently.  It is kind of like an insurance policy except it is one that money can’t buy when you need it.   When people die, the loved ones always ask “If only they left a life insurance policy, things would be so different”. Well, in some of these cases, if stem cells were harvested, maybe these people wouldn’t have even died. Medical technology and research are continually changing and I do not doubt that the use of stem cells will exponentially increase over time.  It is an exciting time for a company like CryoSave.