Zoey and Brodie Munz are related by blood… In more way than one! Brodie was a happy baby and met all his milestones growing up. But from a young age, his parents noticed that he didn’t move his left side much. His right side was very dominant, and it began to affect his everyday life and movement. His parents found out that Brodie has left hemiplegia cerebral palsy (CP), as a result of a stroke while still in the womb.
Sometime after Brodie’s diagnosis, his mom happened to be waiting in a doctor’s office for a check-up. She was pregnant with Brodie’s sister and had no idea that his doctor’s appointment would be lifesaving… For Brodie.
In that waiting room, she spotted a brochure about a sibling cord blood clinical trial for cerebral palsy. Despite having researched cerebral palsy in depth since Brodie’s diagnosis, she’d never come across this method of treatment… And her hope soared.
The Clinical Trial Using Cord Blood for Cerebral Palsy
That moment led to Brodie being selected for the clinical trial — the first of its kind in Australia. The moment Brodie’s little sister, Zoey, was born, her parents saved her cord blood sample and sent to the lab. Brodie received a transfusion at the Royal Children’s Hospital shortly thereafter.
The results were more dramatic than his parents had expected. Within a few weeks, his left arm and leg had begun to gain strength and he was no longer favouring his right side. He also appeared to be more alert and engaged with the world around him.
As of 2022, Brodie is happy, healthy, and has a cheeky grin like any other kid his age. Although he still bears some signed of CP,
Although he still bears some signs of CP, he is now able to play football, run around, and even wrestle with his little sister!
How It Works
Although research is still ongoing and the clinical trial was only phase 1 of a larger trial, it appears that the infusion of cord blood cells helps to reduced inflammation in the brain, which is the source of the problems associated with cerebral palsy.
It’s uncertain exactly how they do that, but the results of the trial Brodie participated in are positive! This could be a new encouraging way of treating a disorder that’s more common than we’d like for it to be.
While there’s still no real cure for cerebral palsy, cord blood is showing promise as a form of treatment. In fact, we released our own cord blood samples for cerebral palsy in 2021, because we have high hopes for this to be life-changing treatment!
Cord Blood Banking
Your baby’s cord blood is 100% match to your child and there is a 25% chance of being a perfect match to their siblings. Parents are also a partial match. Saving your baby’s cord blood at birth is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as expecting parents. It allows you to preserve the precious stem cells within the cord blood that could potentially save a family member’s life in the future.
Private cord blood banking gives your family exclusive access to your baby’s cord blood sample. And they are immediately available when you need to use them.
Many parents treat cord blood banking as a form of biological insurance. It could protect the whole family should they need a stem cell treatment in the future. Cord blood stem cells are known to treat more than 85 medical conditions including blood and metabolic disorders. And over 7 million families have stored their baby’s cord blood with a private bank.