Facundo is a young boy from Argentina, whose parents had decided to bank his cord blood stem cells at birth after hearing about the service from a friend. Little did they know how life changing this decision would be for Facundo, when he developed cerebral palsy shortly after he was born.
Facundo (known as Facu by his family) was born in 2013 with hypoxia, which caused cerebral palsy. His mother, Mariana, hoped that her son’s banked cord blood could be used to improve his quality of life so when Facu was two years old, she attended a conference about the latest advancements in stem cell research. It was here that she discovered how cord blood stem cells could be used to treat cerebral palsy.
After enquiring with her son’s stem cell bank, Mariana was referred to Duke University who enrolled Facu onto a study led by Joanne Kurtzberg into treating cerebral palsy in children. Nice doctors participated in Facu’s transfusion using his own cord blood stem cells, and it wasn’t long before Mariana noticed improvements in her son.
It was very helpful for his immune system, and great improvements were seen in his attention and cognitive functioning. We still have to work hard on his motor skills, but it is not impossible. The improvements in his immune system were impressive.
- Mariana, Facu’s mothe
Following the results of Facu’s stem cell transplant and improvements in his condition, Mariana urged other parents to also consider private cord blood banking for their child’s future:
"If you get information about preserving stem cells when you are pregnant, do not hesitate.
My experience was fantastic. I would do it again and I really recommend it. Please, do not hesitate. If you can preserve them, maybe in a future they could be helpful for a family member…"