Stories

Birth is a personal experience unique to each of us, but family and health are the things that matter most to us all.  These stories are selected from hundreds that inspire us to care for every person, every cell.

Our service story​

Ricky, Gemma, & Alexander

After a long and difficult journey to pregnancy, involving four rounds of IVF,  Ricky Martin and his wife Gemma were determined to do everything in their power to keep their new son safe.

As a biochemist and STEM business leader, Ricky was aware that birth offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to store umbilical cord blood and tissue and wanted to find out more. 

Surprised by how few of their peers knew the facts of cord blood banking, or even that umbilical stem cells were already widely used to treat blood diseases, Gemma and Ricky realised they didn’t just want to store stem cells, they wanted to share their own story in the hope of making others aware that the stem cells in the afterbirth we routinely throw away can and do save lives.

"We hope we never need to call on stem cell support but we wanted a family for so long, why wouldn’t we give him the best possibility?"

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Image credit: knphotography
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Image credit: knphotography
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lauren, jamaine, elijah

Our service story​

Lauren, Jamaine, Elijah and Emilio

Born in 2014, Elijah became 1 of the 95 children to be diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year in the UK and 1 in 10 million to suffer from OMS, commonly known as ‘Dancing Eye Syndrome’. 

Five rounds of chemotherapy and several rounds of traumatic surgery later,  baby Emilio was born, adored by brother Elijah, and potentially his donor. Before Emilio’s birth, Lauren told us about Elijah’s condition and the family’s journey to cell storage. We caught up just before Elijah’s 4th birthday to talk about how umbilical cells could help the family.

“Conversations with Biovault feel like you’ve known them
for ages. They’re really helpful. It’s not like someone hounding you,
it’s nice to talk to them.”

Our pre-service story

Zoe and Harris

Zoe and Harris live in St Ives, Cornwall, where Zoe is an RNLI Lifeguard and Harris manages the St Ives Surf School. Harris also works with The Wave Project, a charity that empowers vulnerable young people through ocean-based experiences.

As a Midwife, Zoe’s mum was aware of umbilical stem cell banking and encouraged the couple to find out more about the process. We spoke to them a week before Zoe was due to give birth about their hopes for the future as a family.

“It’s the best insurance you’ll ever have.
What better gift?”

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Zoe & Brendan Cole
Zoe & Brendan Cole's baby Dante Cole

Our service story​

Zoe and Brendan

When we first met Zoe and Brendan the couple already had a daughter, Aurelia, and Zoe was pregnant with their second child. Zoe and Brendan were considering storing their new baby’s cord blood and tissue at birth and wanted to find out more about the process and how umbilical stem cells may be able to protect the family’s health in the future. 

Having successfully stored gorgeous Dante’s cells Brendan and Zoe are now keen to raise awareness about the life-saving and enhancing potential of a resource that we routinely throw away.

"The science of stem cells and their usage in treating disease
and illness is so fast evolving that it just
seemed crazy not to store them."

Our service story​

Georgina, Charley and Uncle Ash

Georgina was four months pregnant when her brother Ashley was diagnosed with a rare, slow-growing form of brain tumour called glioblastoma. Researching possible treatments, Georgina came across a website that described cord blood therapies. “I was reading this and thinking: I’ve got this cure inside me right now!” she recalls.

Georgina has become a passionate advocate of umbilical cell storage and spoke to us about her birth and collection experiences; life as a new mum and coping with her brother’s illness.

“People need to know that their child or a family member
might need these cells.”

Reviews

When the big day is over and we’ve labelled, tested, processed, frozen and stored your child’s cells we can’t help but wonder how you and your new family are getting on. 

Knowing how busy life as a new parent can be, we never expect to receive news from the families who store with us but we’re always thrilled when we do!

“Dealing with Biovault was an extremely positive experience for us.  Deciding to store cord blood and cells was a last minute decision and [the Biovault team] was immediately on hand to give us clear and helpful advice.

You went the extra mile to ensure that our needs were met, and in many respects exceeded them, making sure that everything was delivered to the hospital on time. I would definitely recommend.”

Max L (February 2018)

“We’d heard of cord blood banking and its potential to resolve future health difficulties and decided – very last minute – to do it just before I gave birth to my daughter. We were worried we had left it too late to arrange and contacted Biovault – as it turned out – the day before our daughter arrived.

“Biovault were extremely helpful and accommodating, got the information to us the same afternoon, and delivered the kit to our door the next morning. All we had to do was contact the phlebotomist as I went into labour, and hand over the kit when she arrived immediately after our daughter was born.

“I can’t thank Biovault enough for ensuring that it all went smoothly and making it a hassle-free process, despite the short notice! You couldn’t have been more helpful.”

“I hope we never have cause to use the stored cells because she will be completely healthy! But I know that should she ever become ill, she will have a greater chance of beating illness because we made the choice and that’s priceless.”

Felicity Reed (December 2014)

“The main reason I opted to bank cord blood is that my father has Parkinson’s Disease. Finding a cure for it is close to my heart really. Hopefully, with tremendous advances in stem cell research, they’ll find a cure it and related diseases. By banking cord blood, I am ensuring that we can potentially benefit in the future.”  

Voiceover artist, Gina Mellotte tells us about her cord blood banking experience.

“Raz and I would like to thank you for everything you did for us. From the moment we have contacted you, you mentioned all the necessary information for us to know exactly what we had to do and how the process was going to take place. You have been very committed and dedicated to your work. You didn’t hesitate to take on your personal time; you have been amazingly supportive and reliable. It hasn’t been an easy task to deal with Guernsey’s infrastructure, but thanks to you it has been a stress free experience that we will be happy to renew for our next baby. You have managed to reassure us until the end, it has been really helpful to know that we could rely on you if we had any worries. We will definitely recommend your services to anyone who is expecting a baby.

Thank you so much for your professionalism, help, support and above all patience with us and Guernsey!”

(anon)

Natalie Pinkham with son Wilfred
Image: Natalie Pinkham, Twitter

“Biovault Family was selected by My Healthcare Clinic as the best provider.  That reassured me which is all a new parent ever needs.  I’ve met the team at Biovault Family and I can see why they were recommended.  From having my questions answered by qualified experts through to putting in place the necessary arrangements for collection, I’ve been impressed.” 

You may know Natalie from Sky Sports. We’re lucky enough to know her as a loving mum and umbilical stem cell advocate. Read her interview with Biovault Family by clicking on the link below.

“When my husband and I decided to store our baby’s cord blood and tissue we dedicated a significant amount of time researching into UK stem cell banks.”

“We were impressed by the excellent record Biovault Family had and the professional, yet personal service they provided.”

“Working as a dental consultant in the National Health Service I am aware of the significant developments in stem cell research and the importance of storing cord blood and tissue to possibly safeguard our children’s health in the future. My husband, who works in the financial sector, was convinced when he learnt about the escrow account facility to safeguard the storage monies.

“After deciding to bank with Biovault Family we are in a position to say the whole service from beginning to end was first class. I was especially impressed and reassured by the thoroughness of the consultation process.”

Julie Mitchell (March 2015)

“Our doctor suggested that we look into storing Jake’s umbilical cord blood, to keep him safe while he is growing up. We were directed to look online at the Parent’s Guide Cord Blood website, and were confident that Biovault Family were the right choice for us.”

(anon)

We received very good service: we are confident of the choice that we made for both of our daughters; [Biovault] provided very good assistance and the necessary steps took place swiftly on the day.

Andreia, October 2018

“We choose to use Biovault’s cord blood banking services as we both have medical conditions within our extended family. The service that Biovault offers gives us the peace of mind that should either of our children need to utilise this resource in the future they can. The staff at Biovault are friendly and helpful, but more importantly when we needed to seek expert medical advice regarding medical complications we received the advice with ease. Lydia from Biovault helped guide us seamlessly through the process. Once again thank you for your help throughout both pregnancies”. 

Kerrie and Lee

“Thank you for making the journey so seamless. I have given your details to friends and family who are expecting babies soon and if we ever find ourselves in need to do this again we would definitely come back to you!

After our initial phone call and filling out the forms, I have literally done nothing!

The pickup procedure was easy and your service was seamless – just what you need when faced with an impending arrival!

Many thanks again. Vanisha, Ronak and Kayaan.” (March, 2017)

“I became aware of it after a scan that indicated there could be potential problems.  Naturally I was concerned and researched things in detail – that is when I found out about the possibilities of cord blood banking.”  

Naomi explains why she stored her twins’ umbilical stem cells with Biovault Family.

“When we found out that we were expecting a baby, the decision to store our child’s cord blood was not difficult. We chose to store with Biovault after researching the options available, and after the fantastic service we received from their Customer Care Team we are certain that we made the right choice.”

(anon)

“I would be happy to recommend Biovault, and will use the service again if my daughters and sons provide more babies!”
James Calvert (December 2014)

“My friend’s son was born 2 months before my daughter, and when I heard about how she had stored her son’s cord blood with Biovault Family, I contacted them to ask how it worked. 

I was concerned because I had planned a water birth, but the team reassured me that we could still collect the cord blood. I was delighted to receive a certificate showing how many cells we have stored, and found their service very efficient.”

(anon)

“We decided to store Maria’s cord blood stem cells when she was born as a precious gift to her for the future.

“We hope that we will never need to use these cells, but the peace of mind from knowing that they are stored safely for us is so important.”

We did not like to think that once Maria was born, the cells remaining in the placenta would be thrown away, and are so glad that we had the opportunity to store the blood.”

(anon)

“Excellent service. I contacted you at short notice and all staff were very helpful in arranging service. I would have no hesitation in recommending Biovault – everything was clearly explained – excellent customer service. Thank You.”

Sarah (February, 2017)