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October 22, 2023


January 8, 2024

Anja FAQ: Cord Blood Banking Library

💡 Parents bank umbilical cord blood, tissue, and placenta stem cells because they can be used to replace or repair damaged cells in the case of injury or disease. "Stem cells are the body's raw materials - cells from which other cells with specialized functions are generated." Source: Mayo Clinic

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Stem Cell 101: What are the different types of stem cells?

• Embryonic Stem Cells (AKA Pluripotent Stem Cells)

• Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

• Adult Stem Cells 

• Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) 

• Found in umbilical cord blood

• Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) 

• Found in umbilical cord tissue, the placenta, and bone marrow

• Amniotic Epithelial Cells (AECs) 

• Found in the placenta

How do these stem cells differ?

Adult stem cells are tissue-specific or blood-forming, meaning they are more mature than embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells. More mature stem cells are more stable and less likely to have unwanted mutations. (Source: Nature)

Unlike adult stem cells (those found in umbilical cord blood, tissue, and the placenta), embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells are so immature and unstable that they even have "the potential for increased frequency of serious cancer-causing mutations." (Source: University of Exeter)

What can stem cells from the umbilical cord blood, tissue, and placenta do?

Umbilical cord blood, tissue, and placenta can potentially be used for the baby themselves, but also siblings and possibly other family members.

  • 85+ diseases treated with umbilical cord blood stem cell products, including lymphomas, solid tumors, anemias, inherited red cell abnormalities, inherited immune disorders, inherited metabolic disorders, bone marrow cancers, and more (despite the common misconception that stem cells can't be used to treat inherited diseases)

Data shows that in the next 18 years, 1 in 16 children may need stem cells to better their quality of life.

This information was gained by adding figures from childhood incidence of diseases and extrapolation based on the 18-year figure (multiplying some annual figures by 18 to reach the number).

  • 3,500 children will get leukemia this year. Multiplied by 18 is 63,000 → Source
  • 353,000 children currently have cancer, and one-third are estimated to be acute leukemia, which is 116,000 children → Source
  • In the next 18 years, 3,900 people may get aplastic anemia, based on the incidence of the disease in the population and the number of children in the country → Source
  • There are about 35 cases of Diamond-Blackfan anemia in the U.S. and Canada each year. The disease is normally diagnosed in infancy. In the next 18 years, that's more than 600 cases → Source
  • 20 kids are born with Fanconi anemia each year, and in the next 18 years, that is 360 cases → Source
  • Sickle cell disease affects 1 out of every 500 African-American and 1 in every 1,000 Hispanic newborns. Using Census data on births and multiplying by 18, that's 21,945 and 17,991 cases → Source
  • In newborns and infants, Langerhans cell histiocytosis occurs in 2 per million. There are 4 million infants born each year. Multiplied by 18, that's 144 cases → Source
  • As many as 100 children are diagnosed with SCID each year. Multiplied by 18, that's 1,800 cases → Source
  • Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome incidence is as much as 10 per million males. In the United States, using newborn figures, that's 367 in the next 18 years → Source
  • Krabbe disease affects about 1 in 100,000 people. Using newborn figures, that's 738 in the next 18 years → Source
  • Hurler syndrome occurs in about one of every 100,000 babies born. Using the birth calculation, that's 738 in the next 18 years → Source

  • Metachromatic leukodystrophy is reported to occur in 1 in 40,000 individuals. Using birth figures, that's 1,845 in the next 18 years → Source
  • Sanfilippo syndrome is seen in about 1 in 70,000 births. That's 1,054 in the next 18 years → Source

Can I just use a donor’s stem cells in the future?

Possibly, but a donor's hematopoietic stem cells could be rejected, which could be fatal. Being related to the donor or being the donor yourself increases the chances of survival.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine

On top of that, using donor stem cells is exorbitantly more expensive than banking umbilical cord blood at birth.

Source: The Niche

Why not get stem cells from bone marrow instead?

According to Mayo Clinic, using bone marrow stem cells requires medications to increase the number of stem cells in your blood and can likely damage bone marrow, whereas umbilical cord blood stem cells are non-invasive and rich resources of stem cells. 

Are enough stem cells collected from the umbilical cord?

Required dosages for treatments vary, but for a Duke University study on cerebral palsy, for instance, a child's own cord blood stem cells were sufficient. A combination of the child's own and a donor's is being explored as being less risky than using solely a donor's stem cells.

How are stem cell treatments done?

Patients can request the release of stem cells from an umbilical cord blood bank like Anja Health to a physician overseeing the treatment. Treatment occurs via an IV of the entire bag of cord blood stem cells or localized injections.

CB Association: Common Myths and Facts

Stem Cell Banking With Anja

"I created Anja because my brother's last chance at treatment for cerebral palsy was umbilical cord blood and we couldn't find a match because we're mixed race."

– Anja Founder, Kathryn Cross

Why do cord blood banking?

💡 Stem cells are your body's master cells—they can repair and replace damaged blood and tissue cells.


Cutting-edge science has enabled the use of stem cells to help treat a variety of diseases, damage, and disorders. Stem cells can be extracted from blood and tissue samples that would otherwise be discarded as medical waste. 

❓ Did you know? Some hospitals charge up to $800 for the disposal of your umbilical cord and placenta.

Storing these stem cells allows you to access them at any time. In the event that your child has a serious disease, you will always have the option of a stem cell treatment—an opportunity that few patients have. At Anja Health, we believe that stem cells are the best way to future-proof your family’s health.

Where do stem cells come from?

Umbilical cord blood

Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) in the umbilical cord blood can reconstitute the immune system and have been used to treat cancers, blood disorders, immune disorders, and metabolic disorders.

Umbilical cord tissue

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) in the Warton’s Jelly of the umbilical cord tissue are being used in clinical trials to treat Alzheimer’s, dementia, diabetes, stroke, wounds, and heart disease, and to slow aging.

The placenta

The placenta is a powerhouse containing both Amniotic Epithelial Cells (AECs) and Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs). Both are being looked at to treat neural degeneration, anti-aging, and promote the birth mother’s health.

Why bank with Anja Health?

Our Simple Process

  1. Get your premium collection kit. Free shipping. Bring kit to birth.
  2. Have a nurse or midwife collect. Call our pickup team. Pickup from anywhere in the U.S. within 12 hours. Transported to FDA-approved, AABB-accredited lab.
  3. Retrieve when needed via our portal. Access to your own stem cells for injury, disease, disorder, and other treatments.

Our Quality Guarantee

Every Anja product includes the following:

  • Collection Kit with FDA-approved materials and instructions for medical professionals.
  • Storage for a lifetime without damaging stem cells as stem cells do not expire.
  • Biological goods courier with 10+ years of experience.
  • Maximized stem cell count via manual processing methods that individualize recovery - as opposed to automatic.
  • Quality storage in our FDA-approved and AABB-accredited lab with over 40 years of experience in the space.
  • An Anja Account Specialist to ensure that you stay connected to your stored family stem cells and the latest developments in stem cell research.
  • Access to our community of parents and perinatal experts to support you on your journey.

What We Offer

Base - $49/mo*

✓ Umbilical Cord Blood

Potential uses: Cancers, Blood disorders, Immune disorders, Metabolic disorders

Enhanced - $79/mo*

✓ Umbilical Cord Blood ✓ Umbilical Cord Tissue

Potential uses: Cancers, Blood Disorders, Immune Disorders, Metabolic Disorders, Heart and liver Disease

Complete - $99/mo*

✓ Umbilical Cord Blood ✓ Umbilical Cord Tissue ✓ Placenta

Potential uses: Cancers, Blood Disorders, Immune Disorders, Metabolic Disorders, Heart and liver Disease, Diabetes, Injury/Wound Healing

*Monthly installments over 8 years cover 20 years of storage. Save 10% when you pay upfront.

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