The moment I found out I was pregnant for the first time (almost 8 years ago) the fear kicked in. I was absolutely terrified of something happening to my baby, my husband or myself. And if you’re parent, you can relate – the fear never goes away. The idea of one of us getting sick or developing an ailment aches a mother’s heart perpetually. But what if there’s hope – what if we could be doing something today to prepare and possibly save our own lives in the future? Enter cell preservation…
I know this topic is heavier than most, and I share a wide range of experiences on the blog, but having the opportunity to safeguard the future of our health and possibly more years with our children is absolutely remarkable and deserves the conversation. I encourage you to follow along on why I chose to do cell preservation and exactly how I did it.
I was approached by Silene Biotech, a Seattle-based startup providing a pharmaceutical-grade cell preservation service. They offered the opportunity to try the service and share my experience with you. Before I agreed to the process, I read articles from Geekwire, The Seattle Times & Komo News, along with an in depth conversation with one of their team members to ensure I had a full understanding of what exactly cell preservation entails, along with their ethical practices.
So here’s what I discovered and what you need to know:
Cell preservation is the freezing and storing of white blood cells. The idea is that by freezing your blood cells while you’re young and healthy, then they can be used to diagnose and treat any health problems that arise in the future.
Your own cells can be used to treat your body.
Diagnostics and therapies using patients’ own cells are already in clinical trials. Some of the diseases in trials include heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, Parkinson’s, spinal cord injury and leukemia – but more applications are being researched every day!
Time is of the essence with cell preservation – if you’re interested, you need to act now for it be effective.
Your cells and DNA are damaged every second.
Our cells and DNA are damaged every second from our environment and normal biological processes. This damage accumulates during middle age and irreversibly alters our cells and stem cells – possibly preventing you from using them in the future.
Cryopreservation stops the cellular aging process.
By saving your cells today, you can halt the damage and aging of your cells. They are frozen at ultra-low temperatures and can be kept indefinitely. When you need your cells, they can be retrieved and thawed and will be still viable and functional.
Customers can access their cells at any time, retrieving them to be used in medical procedures. The cells are anonymized during processing to protect patient confidentiality, and customers also retain the right to have the cells destroyed at any time.
After going through the research, I made the decision to complete the process of cell preservation. I met one of the founders, Alex Jiao, at Bloodworks Northwest, whom they partner with for the blood draw. The actual draw was quick – only about 90 seconds. Afterwards I had the opportunity of sitting down with Alex to discuss his mission behind Silene Biotech.
The idea was developed by Alex Jiao (above left) and Jenna Strully (above right) after meeting in a science business class at the University of Washington, where Jiao was studying bioengineering and Strully, who is also a medical doctor, was in the MBA program. They competed in the UW’s business plan competition and won some initial funding during the process. The startup has raised $450,000 in total from UW grants and awards, angel investments, the founders’ own cash and funds from TechStars.
This alone is monumental in showing the magnitude of support they have in both the scientific and business community. Their secret ingredient? The cost. Where other services of similar proportion such as cord blood banking can range from $2-4K, Silene Biotech is only $399 for the preservation + storage for 1 year. And only $50/year thereafter.
The field of Biotechnology is progressing at a rate that within 5-10 years the cells (that you preserve) can be used to grow tissue to repair organs, test for drug resistance, provide personalized therapies and even grow entire organs to be used for transplants if needed.
Silene Biotech is also registered with the Food and Drug Administration.
I know this was a lot of information, and I appreciate you staying with me and learning more about cell preservation. Silene Biotech is offering more than a service – they’re giving us the possibility of more time with our children, our friends, and our family.
As I’ve mentioned before, I only share content that I truly believe in – and this post signifies more to me than you’ll ever know. And I hope you’ll consider it for yourself and/or your family.
If you’d like to learn more about cell preservation, you can contact Silene Biotech for a free phone consultation HERE or schedule the service HERE using promo code Portia25 to save $25. (*Must be 16 years of age)
*Photos courtesy of Silene Biotech
Disclosure: I received a complimentary service in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here represent my own, which I take great pride in providing pure honesty…because I’m OBSESSED with sharing the Good!