By admin on January 30, 2012

From an Idant Donor: “At least I remember my number from IDANT, but I had a similar experience last year when I called them for any other information. I think I may have mentioned this to you, the guy on the phone said, the records were in the basement and that he’d look. When I checked back, he said he couldn’t find any. Guess they’re consistent with their stonewalling.”

And the Fertility Center of California: “Absolutely and Fairfax is, as you know, not alone, Fertility Center of California – same deal – my daughter is now testing with FamilyTreeDNA to bridge
the gap. It seems that like every other corporate entity all they consider is covering their collective butts.”

By admin on January 30, 2012

I was contacted today by another former Fairfax Cryobank donor who is outraged that the sperm bank will not give him his donor number, thereby making it impossible, at this point, to connect with any offspring he might have. Sometimes donors can scroll through the Fairfax list and find themselves by the donor descriptions, but not always. This man says, “I am dissappointed in Fairfax in not releasing the donor numbers if they are requested by the donors themselves. I do not understand their insensitivity to people who want to know their backgrounds and donors who are willing to provide this information. Please post this on your blog when you get a chance.”

Fairfax Cryobank, please start putting the needs and the rights of the families before your own concerns of liability. Yes, if you give donors their donor numbers many will find out that you did not limit the number of children born from their donations. (see the 9/2011 NY Times article about the donor with more than 150 offspring). But you are also deliberately prohibiting the updating and sharing of medical information and mutual consent contact amongst genetic relatives. This must stop.

By admin on January 09, 2012

Have any DSR members used Xytex, California Cryobank or New England Cryogenic, for storing cord blood? I wonder what their response is to the reports that this practice is a complete scam.  After watching 60 Minutes tonight, I did a little research.

Xytex’s site is claiming everything that the 60 Minutes folks just exposed as a
total scam:
“Cord blood stem cells are changing lives today. Centers all across the country
are using cord blood stem cells to treat diseases like cerebral palsy, diabetes,
leukemia, and much more.”

And then this article from a couple of years ago:
US scientists warn of fraud of stem cell ‘banks’

Clinics that offer to “bank” stem cells from the umbilical cords of newborns for
use later in life when illness strikes are fraudsters, a top US scientist said.

Clinics in many countries allow parents to deposit stem cells from their neonate’s umbilical cord with a view to using the cells to cure major illnesses that could occur later in life.

In Thailand, for example, parents pay in the region of 3,600 dollars to make a deposit in a stem cell bank, thinking they are taking out a sort of health insurance for their child.

But Irving Weissman, director of the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University in California, said the well-meaning parents were being fleeced by the stem cell bankers.

“Umbilical cords contain blood-forming stem cells at a level that would maintain the blood-forming capacity of a very young child,” Weissman told reporters at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

“They could also have derived mesenchymal cells — fiberglass-like cells that have a very limited capacity to make scar, bone, fat — but they don’t make brain, they don’t make blood, they don’t make heart, they don’t make skeletal muscle, despite what various people claim,” he said.

Weissman said these “unproven stem cell therapeutic clinicians” tend to set up shop in countries with poor medical regulations, but AFP found websites for umbilical cord stem cell banks in European Union member states and in the United States.

“They do the therapies, then they let the patients go on their own, short of maybe 50-150,000 dollars for a therapy that has no chance — taken away from a family that needs them when they have an incurable disease,” Weissman said.

“It is wrong.”