Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cordlife Medical Philippines: One Chance, One Choice on Umbilical and Cord Blood Banking

"What will you do with your Php8,000?", This was the same question that was raised during the Cordlife Medical Philippines' Bloggers event held recently at the Amici Italian Restaurant, UP Techno Hub, Commonwealth, Quezon City. As Mommies, it was but natural for us to answer something related to our families. Some responded with answers such as shopping for her kids' clothes, others answered she'll use it for her daughter's tuition, one entrepreneurial mom even said that she'll invest the said amount in the stock market, but most of us answered that we'll be using the said amount to buy some grocery items, and in my case, it has to be for Kyle's daily school baon and other household needs. Nobody answered that she'll be using that amount for herself. I guess it is because of a mother's natural instinct--we think highly of our families, especially our kids. Actually, when I'd buy something for myself, I would often feel guilty no matter how small it is, knowing fully well that my family had always been my top priority. As they often said in the vernacular, "Hindi bale ng wala ang Nanay, basta mayroon ang mga anak," (It doesn't matter if the mother has none, for as long as her kids had whatever it is that they need, the mother will be willing to sacrifice) 

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Going back to the Php8,000 question, only a few would even consider of banking their umbilical cord tissue with such amount of money. I mean sure, it isn't a pocket change for many, but your Php8,000 will surely be a great help to you and your family if and when the need arises if and when you decide to invest your 8k into cord blood banking or umbilical cord banking.

Cordlife Philippines' director Ms. Huiying Tan

For those who do not know what Cordlife Philippines is all about, Cordlife is the first cord blood bank to be set up in Singapore and also the first in Asia to do so. Cordlife has more than 12 years of cord blood banking experience as well as a published track record of cord blood transplants. Cordlife Philippines is also the country's first and only cord blood processing and storage facility registered with the Department of Health (DOH) with its facilities ISO 9001-2008 certified. 

Located in UP Ayalaland Technohub in Quezon City, the local facility has a storage capacity of more than 20,000 cord blood units, and uses liquid nitrogen for long-term cryopreservation. The world-class facility operates 365 days a year and offers the world's only fully automated cord blood processing system called SEPAX. 

Tests are done and screening at the Cordlife Laboratory

In February 2013, Cordlife Philippines introduced its newest service--umbilical cord tissue banking using Cell Optima--an advanced technology for stem cell isolation which was developed and patented by Singapore based clinician scientists and exclusively available at Cordlife. The said technology can isolate and expand epithelial stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells from the umbilical cord lining, thus giving families more medical options in the future. The offering allows expectant parents to store their newborn's umbilical cord--and the stem cells it contains for potential use in future therapeutic applications. 

Using state of the art technology Cordlife keeps umbilical cord safe.

"The introduction of umbilical cord banking represents the latest milestone for Cordlife Philippines--one which reflects our dedication to introducing pioneering products and services to our customers," said zjeremy Yee, Executive zdirector and Chief Executive Officer of accord life a group Limited. "We take great pride in offering Filipino parents the additional option of storing their child's cord tissue to help them further safeguard their family's future."

The Cordlife Laboratory where harvested stem cells are kept.

Present during the Cordlife Philippines Bloggers' event were Ms. Huiying Tan, Cordlife Director Philippines, Dr. Arvin Faundo, Medical Director of Cordlife Philippines and Celebrity Chef, popular endorser and new mom Ms. China Cojuangco, Cordlife Philippines Mom Ambassador.

China Cojuangco talks about her Cordlife experience.

Dr. Arvin Faundo further explained what stem cell is all about as well as why should you bank them. According to Dr. Faundo, Stem cells are special cells of tissues and organs that make up the human body. Stem Cells can be found in the body from embryonic, an adult's bone marrow, blood, cord blood among many others. A cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta after the baby's delivery. It is usually thrown away and considered as a medical waste but it is found to be a rich source of stem cells which could treat the likes of leukemia, lymphoma, thalassemia, aplastic anemia, inherited immunodeficiencies. At present, stem cells are also being studied to help improve the condition and possibly cure the likes of Cerebral palsy, type 1 Diabetes, Myocardial infraction, spinal cord injury, as well as Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 

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In other countries like Singapore and Hong Kong, Cordlife entities have released cord blood units for successful stem cell transplants to treat disease such as leukemia, neuroblastoma and thalassemia. 

Dr. Faundo also answers the difference between cord blood banking to umbilical cord banking. Cord blood banking is the storage of cord blood, also known as "placental blood", which is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following childbirth and after the umbilical cord is out. But umbilical cord banking is the storage of the actual umbilical cord tissue. 

Cordlife Ambassador China Cojuangco and her baby Lucia

New mom, Stage actress, celebrity Chef and Cordlife Mom Ambassador, Ms. China Cojuangco also shared her personal insights on her own experience with Cordlife Philippines' umbilical cord banking. "Being a first time mom, I want to make sure that I do everything right for my baby, Lucia, and my family. Part of this is being prepared for any health concerns, specially those that are in the past were considered serious or even incurable. It is possible! We parents are always on the look-out for ways to spare our children from any threats, especially illnesses, of which many can be passed down from previous generations. I did my research on Cordlife. Aside from feeling more prepared for Lucia, her umbilical cord tissue and cord blood may also be used by family members as long as they match! The deal was sealed for us after seeing Cordlife's solid list of families who successfully used their baby's stored cord blood for treatment. This is very important to us considering that we have a history of cancer and diabetes in our families. Our Cordlife experience has been nothing but hassle-free with a generous helping of heartfelt concern for my family's well-being. From the first time we made an inquiry to the day I delivered my baby. And though it's something we hope we will never need to use, I can sleep better at night knowing that reliable hands are safekeeping my baby's stem cells."

Purple Plum Fairy author with Ms. China Cojuangco

How much does Cordlife Philippines's umbilical cord banking services cost? Cordlife's umbilical cord banking service starts as low as Php35,000 (one-time upfront fee for collection, processing and testing) and Php8,000 annual fee. Clients can pay via 0%-interest credit card installments up to 12 months. There are also pre-payment plans available that offer more savings. It may seem to be a little expensive, but when you consider how it would help you and your family in the future, it is all worth it. Although stem cell treatment is still considered as somewhat new in the country, it is still a breakthrough that will give us medical options in the future. In a good way, cord blood banking and umbilical cord banking will somehow ensure our family's health in the future and doing so will probably give us more peace of mind. 

For more information as well as other queries, please visit or email Dr. Arvin Faundo himself at 
You may also inquire at Cordlife Medical Philippines by calling (02) 470-1735/ 322-1888 or email

Purple Plum Fairy thanks Cordlife Philippines, Eon's Chris Calilao and Gian Geronimo for the invite.

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are my own. 

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