While the latest gadget, toy or jewelry still has its place on holiday wish lists, there is a desire among Americans, especially millennials, to receive gifts better aligned with their values.
According to a recent *on-line survey among approximately 2,200 US adults, 79 percent said they want the gifts they give to their family this holiday season to better reflect with their values.
In fact, 54 percent of millennials surveyed said they would like to give or receive gifts that represent more than material value. The survey went on to ask if costs were the same and they could choose from experience gifts, gifts to protect their health or donation to charity, Americans would rank experience gifts the highest, those that could help protect their health, second, and donations to charity, third.
Cord blood banking – a process whereby blood left in a newborn’s umbilical cord that contains valuable, pristine cord blood stem cells, is collected at birth and stored for potential future use – is one such health-related gift that may resonate with millennials as they start to plan for families. After learning more about cord blood banking, 68 percent surveyed say that they’d likely recommend it to expecting parents.
“The moment of birth presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capture and preserve a newborn’s stem cell-rich cord blood, but 95 percent of valuable cord blood is discarded. Expecting parents should understand that cord blood stem cells have the potential to help treat many diseases. Arming parents with information about the value of cord blood can help them make the right decision for their family,” says Frances Verter, founder and director of the non-profit Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation.
Cord blood stem cells have already been used in more than 40,000 donor transplants worldwide to reconstitute healthy blood and immune systems. Cord blood is currently being investigated for its potential use in regenerative medicine to treat brain injury, hearing loss, autism and congenital heart defects.
Heather Brown, vice president of Scientific and Medical Affairs for Cord Blood Registry, the largest and oldest family cord blood bank with over 700,000 units stored, explains, “Preserving a baby’s newborn stem cells may give that child access to his or her own cells for potential future regenerative medicine uses and your baby isn’t the only one who may benefit. Depending on different factors, preserved newborn stem cells can potentially be used by siblings and parents.”
With research evolving, a gift of cord blood banking may be the perfect gift this holiday season.