I'll post more about this later, but just wanted to get this video up. This is Stormy Chamberlain, of UCHC's Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology, giving a talk about the "induced pluripotent stem cell" research she is doing on the genetic condition that our daughter has (Dup15q). Induced pluripotent stem cells are cells that start out as normal cells (not stem cells) and are - somehow through the magic of science - turned into a kind of "artificial" stem cell. Stormy has been using these "artificial" stem cells to conduct her research.
But we had some actual Dup15q stem cells - from our daughter's cord blood that we had collected and stored at her birth. So after detailed discussions with the cord blood bank to confirm that we could donate a portion of the stored blood and still retain a portion in case we would want to use it for actual stem-cell therapy (unlikely, but the reason we were storing it in the first place), we decided to donate some of our daughter's cord blood - which could potentially be more useful than the induced pluripotent stem cells - to Stormy's research.
I don't think I would ever have foreseen this as a reason to bank our daughter's cord blood. In fact, when we initially learned of her condition, my husband asked some of the specialists we met with whether developments in genetic medicine might be able to help her. Their response was that, at this point in time, that kind of thing was "science fiction." Well, it turns out that that's not necessarily true. There are some very exciting developments in this area that might actually be able to change things for our daughter and for other children with her syndrome (and similar syndromes.) Stormy's research is part of that so we are thrilled to have been able to help out with it.
Here's Stormy talking about her research, at the Dup15q Alliance's Scientific Conference in August:
So we put out six big pumpkins from our garden and one tiny one, along with a sign offering them for sale at $5 apiece, and a little box for the money. Every one sold, and every one was paid for with the exception of one taken by a neighbor for whom we had left a note saying that she could have one. Conclusion: Good sale, and good neighborhood.