Giuliana and Bill Rancic Advocate For Cord Blood Banking
Reality star and E! News host Giuliana Rancic has been open about her struggle with infertility and breast cancer over the past year. So when she and her husband Bill announced that they were expecting through a gestational surrogate back in April, her fans were ecstatic. These days, the happy couple seems to be loving every minute spent with two-month-old Edward Duke. “No matter what, the baby is always priority one,” Bill says.
Now, Giuliana and Bill are teaming up with the Cord Blood Registry to educate parents on the values of cord blood banking—the process of collecting and storing umbilical cord blood after a baby is delivered. These cord blood stem cells can treat many diseases, including leukemia, certain cancers, and blood, immune and metabolic disorders. So saving the cord blood could potentially end up saving the life of the child or someone else in the family. “For us, we thought ‘What if Edward has a health issue and those stem cells can save his life?’” Giuliana says. “So we decided it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
The Rancics first worked with the Cord Blood Registry when Giuliana’s sister gave birth, and Giuliana was put in charge of the kit. “I was so nervous about it,” she admits. “I thought I would actually be involved with the packaging of it and getting everything together, but really, they send you the kit and you bring it and all the doctors know what to do with it. It was really my responsibility to just ship it in a timely manner. It was so easy!”
After that experience, she knew she wanted to do the same with her own children when the time came. “It was just on my list,” she explains. “I bought the stroller, the crib, I bought everything I could in order to assure my son’s safety and this was just one of those things on the list.” Bill agrees: “For us, it is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it,” he says. “We just wanted to make sure that we could provide the best life possible for our kid.”
The first step for expectant parents interested in cord blood banking is to do a little research to make sure this is right for them. “You have one shot at getting those stem cells before the umbilical cord is discarded,” Giuliana says. “We recommend for people to do their research. Just because it’s right for us doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone, but you spend so much time online researching strollers and cribs and toys. Why not research this as well and see if this is something you want to do?” Some day, you may be very glad that you gave up just a few minutes of your time to set some cord blood aside.
Photo courtesy of the Cord Blood Registry.