Take a deep breath and heave it out.\r\n\r\nWe have just ended the first quarter of the year, and it feels like the planet is going through a state of emergency. However, the one thing that grips fear in our hearts is an unseen threat, the COVID-19 virus. It keeps us huddled at home, feeding on social media for updates that don\u2019t bring us much comfort.\r\n\r\nBut wait - you will find hope here.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTo find the solution, we need to look into what happens when the COVID-19 virus makes its way to the respiratory system. Once the virus infects the lung area, the body starts fighting back against the virus; this battle causes the lung to swell. It becomes worse when the virus penetrates deeper into the part of the lung where gas exchange happens. Pneumonia usually develops in severe cases as the amount of oxygen transported to the whole body decreases and thus, leading to the failure of other working organs.\r\n\r\nAs of the time of writing, there is no cure or vaccine available. However, a bright glimmer of hope for recovery shines on stem cell treatment.\r\n\r\nSince late February, researchers from China have been looking at stem cell therapy to help critical COVID-19 patients. Similar treatment was used during the avian flu* before, and it turned out successful.\r\n\r\nThe Chinese scientists saw the remarkable recovery of a critically ill 65-year-old COVID-19 patient\u00a0after being given stem cell therapy. She was fighting for her life in ICU, and four days after being injected with umbilical cord stem cells, she was able to walk. This is not an isolated case. In Beijing, seven patients at You\u2019an Hospital were treated with Mesenchymal Stem Cells (I\u2019ll explain this a little later), and a few days later, they recovered with no side effects! A clinical trial involving 100 COVID-19 patients is now ongoing in China and is currently showing promising results.\r\n\r\nIn the United States, where the rising number of COVID-19 cases are most dire, a test to carry out a 24-patient clinical trial\u00a0for MSCs to be used was granted immediate FDA authorisation. This happened after numerous rounds of proposals and reviews. An international team of scientists, led by Dr. Camillo Ricordi, is convinced that MSCs can stop the body's natural reaction to lung inflammation and fight the infection.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWait, so stem cell treatment is only used to treat COVID-19?\r\n\r\nNot only, but many other health issues as well. I could start typing out its potential, but it might take up half this article. Stem cells hold the potential to differentiate into many different cells and tissues as needed. Harvested from the umbilical cord, these \u2018supercells\u2019 (Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) and Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)) can be used to treat many types of diseases related to the blood, organs, and immune dysfunctions.\r\n\r\nQUESTION: What is the difference between HSCs and MSCs?\r\n\r\nAh, while both are stem cells, HSCs are used to treat blood-related diseases (or haematological diseases, as the medical term suggests). MSCs however, are used to treat other diseases, such as heart diseases, diabetes, graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), autoimmune diseases, arthritis, etc.\r\n\r\nWe all have stem cells in our bodies. It can be found in our bone marrow, the root of our tooth, and even our fat tissues. However, the best of the best, the most primitive source of MSCs, are found in the umbilical cord. The best stem cell for YOU alone is found in YOUR umbilical cord - yes, the one stuck to you and your placenta at birth.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOkay, maybe you cannot turn back time to execute the harvesting of MSCs from your umbilical cord, but you can secure it for your future children and consecutively, yourself!\r\n\r\nBefore you think this must be some kind of scary organ-harvesting operation, hold up! It is a quick and absolutely painless procedure for both you and the baby.\r\n\r\nUpon the delivery of your newborn, the blood from the cord will be drained into a collection bag. This is for the collection of HSCs. Then, part of the umbilical cord will be cut, processed (to extract the MSCs), and stored. Instead of being discarded as biological waste, the blood and umbilical cord collection will be processed and stored in a liquid nitrogen storage tank under -190\u2103.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAbout 486 clinical trials are currently running to demonstrate the potential of MSCs in the medical field. This is what we know for sure:\r\n\r\n \tIt helps modulate the immune system.\r\n \tIt promotes cell growth.\r\n \tIt can differentiate into various specialised cells.\r\n \tIt aids diseases, such as diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injury, graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), rheumatoid arthritis, and more.\r\n\r\nWhen good times roll, it is difficult for us to imagine the worst-case scenario, much less prepare for them. However, when health complications or a pandemic at such a scale happens, we start to ponder about how we can safeguard our health.\r\n\r\nThe answer is in stem cells.\r\n\r\nIt is like the umbrella you keep equipped for a rainy day. It is like the emergency savings you have for when finances are tight. It is like the glass you break in case of a fire.\r\n\r\nCryoCord is a premier stem cell bank established in 2002. It runs one of the largest and most comprehensive private stem cell facilities in Southeast Asia. You would probably come across one of their pamphlets in the hospital, especially at the gynaecology department. Some would not think much about it because what is the worst that could happen, right?\r\n\r\nThat is the problem; we don\u2019t know. Not until it happens.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nCryoCord specialises in long-term storage of human stem cells, tissue cryopreservation, and research. It is a fully licensed stem cell bank under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services (PHFS) Act 1998 by the Malaysian Ministry of Health.\r\n\r\nAll MSCs collections will be processed and put through cellular dissociation and expansion. So, when these cells are needed (often during an emergency), there are always enough cells available. The process happens at CryoCord\u2019s state-of-the-art laboratory that holds a clean-room environment to greatly reduce any chance of contamination. It is one of the first laboratories in Malaysia to be certified to cGMP (PIC\/S) requisites awarded by NPRA (BPFK), a division of the Ministry of Health, Malaysia. That is not all, the lab has been granted AABB (formerly known as American Association of Blood Banks) accreditation after an intensive on-site assessment by specially trained AABB assessors to ensure the development and implementation of quality systems meet AABB's standards.\r\n\r\nMany clients opt to make an upfront payment of 21 years for the collecting, processing, and cryopreservation of stem cells. These prepaid fees are placed in a trust fund with Rockwills to ensure the continued sustainability of their business.\r\n\r\nAs the COVID-19 pandemic is opening the eyes of many on how essential healthcare is, we should also take responsibility for our wellbeing if we want to live a healthy and long life. Secure the health of your future child by banking their stem cells with CryoCord.\r\n\r\nWhile the world waits for a vaccine, stem cells are already used to treat the illness. We do not know what will come next, but one thing is for sure, you can protect yourself, and your children from the unknown future by preserving MSCs with CryoCord.\r\n\r\nAcclaimed for the work they have done and their contributions to the field of science, CryoCord has been awarded numerous awards. Among them include Malaysia Stem Cell Banking Company of the Year 2019 by Frost & Sullivan, Best Stem Cell Bank 2012\u20132020 by Baby Talk Magazine, and Best Brands in Science \u2013 Stem Cell Laboratory 2016 by Brand Laureate. View CryoCord\u2019s plans and pricing on their website. Alternatively, you could always speak to a CryoCord representative here.