There is no greater gift for parents than the birth of their child. Nothing can create the same sense of hope and optimism that comes from meeting your newborn for the first time. That is why, according to Samuel Kim, “you give your child everything that you could possibly give as a parent”. Samuel Kim is the father of Hope Biosciences’ first newborn banker, Chloe. Following Chloe’s birth, her stem cells were isolated from the placenta and grown to create a master cell bank accessible to Chloe should she ever need them. As Samuel puts it, “[A master cell bank] is that one additional thing that you could ensure for yourselves and for your daughter or your son when they’re born”. Peace of mind is one of the most rare and valuable gifts that parents receive when they ensure the future wellness of their newborn with Hope Bio. Unlike with cord blood or tissue bankers, Chloe and her parents can rest assured that her stem cells are safely preserved and available for many therapies in the future if need be.
Continue reading for our full interview with Chloe’s parents to delve into their experience in finding trust with Hope Bio.
Interview with Samuel Kim: the father of Hope Bio’s first newborn banker
“My name is Samuel Kim, and this is my beautiful wife Olivia, and this is our daughter, Chloe Kim. We are originally native Texans, but we recently moved to the Bay Area, but it’s just always great to come back and visit Hope Bio and see Donna, as well. Just a little bit about us: I am a technology attorney in Silicon Valley, and, you know, as first time parents, we had a lot of nervous anxieties about how to prepare ourselves.
When it came to Chloe, we thought of everything you could think of as first time parents. There were a lot of nerves, obviously … we thought about how to raise her to be a good person … lots of wish lists, obviously. And as a control person myself, I made an excel sheet with regards to how I wanted to raise Chloe. [Ensured wellness was] one of the things that obviously we wanted to prepare her for in life and one of the ways that we thought about that [was stem cells]. We had never thought about [it before]. We were at the hospital; there were pamphlets and brochures and all these discussions around stem cells and so we obviously looked more into it.
We wanted to prepare her for everything. The future is unknown. There’s so many things that a parent can do. Obviously provide for her, and give her the best life that you possibly can as a parent, but there are other uncertainties in life. And so, in order for us to prepare for that, we looked into and researched stem cells. That was a really easy decision for us. It was something that came naturally without any questions. Obviously, this area of science is relatively new for an attorney—there’s a lot of unknowns, right? There are a lot of questions. That’s when we did our research and we came to Hope Bio. We found a lot of answers.
We were looking at banking stem cells, and we knew that with adults, you could bank an unlimited quantity of stem cells, but we weren’t sure if this could be done for newborns. So when we looked around, we found Hope Bio and we asked. Other banks said they possibly wouldn’t be able to, Hope Bio was the first to look into it and said that they could, after doing their research; and, that’s something that I really respect—because of the fact that Hope Bio was willing to do the research, was willing to be at the forefront of this and they just seemed to know exactly what was going on with regards to how it should properly be done. So I think with that in mind it wasn’t a very difficult decision to explore additional opportunities with Hope Bio because of the fact that they are at the forefront, on the cutting edge of all this really impressive research that they’re doing at their lab.
It’s like home insurance. I think for us, it’s also the fact that there are so many uncertainties in life and obviously you always want to think of the good things about raising a kid, but you don’t want to think so much about the uncertainties of illness, disease, […] we’re putting it in the back of our heads without really realizing that that is a possibility.
The idea of banking stem cells—an unlimited quantity of stem cells—for us, is just that: insurance that hopefully Chloe will never need. But who knows? You never know what’s going to happen; and so for us, if we have that opportunity and chance, why not? You give your child everything that you could possibly give as a parent. This is that one additional thing that you could ensure for yourselves and for your daughter or your son when they’re born.”
Why did you choose to bank with Hope?
“Why did we bank with Hope Bio? The answer is really easy. We’ve done a lot of research into other banks and facilities and labs, the one thing that really distinguished Hope Bio from everyone else is the fact that there is a guarantee that the stem cells that are banked in the [cryopreservation] tanks, are actual stem cells. Other labs say that they are banking tissue and blood but there is no guarantee that there are actual stem cells. With Hope Bio, understanding that really made up our minds and made the decision making process easier.”
Would you recommend this to anyone else?
“Yes. I would without a doubt recommend this to any parent—if it’s a first-time, or third-time, or fourth-time parent—because after all the research that we’ve done, we are fully convinced that there’s really no other option. We feel strongly about what Hope Bio does; we feel strongly about the procedures, processes, and research that the lab does on a daily basis. They are really at the forefront and everything they do is at the cutting edge. There are other banks I know from the research that I’ve done that do not have that guarantee of banking usable stem cells. I know that my daughter Chloe will have, for the rest of her life, all the usable stem cells that she wants and needs, and she can use them. That is a reassuring thought in my mind—our minds, as parents, and we know that we’ve made the best decisions for her with going with Hope Bio.”
How would you describe the banking process?
“The process is as easy as it can get. I mean there’s really no process in terms of complexity. It was really phone calls with the lab and having someone literally guide you through what you have to do in terms of getting the stem cells banked. With regards to us and the personal story, we delivered Chloe at 3 in the morning, and it was as simple as someone coming in and picking up the placenta and that’s as easy as it gets.”
Since you were the first newborn bankers ever, when you found out that it worked, how did you feel?
“We were thrilled when we got the news that it had worked. You know, we actually did not have much doubt, just because of the fact that we’ve trusted Hope Bio. We knew that they were at the forefront of this cutting edge science. We didn’t have much doubt, but when we got that call that it had worked, we were just elated. And it was just one of those things that, you know, another thing off of our shoulders and one less thing to worry about in life. I’m sure growing up as normal parents I’m going to be worried about her meeting boys and what not. This is one thing that I don’t have to worry about so I’m very happy about that.”
What do you think the future of medicine is going to look like? Do you think stem cells are going to have an active role to play in our daily lives?
“I’m very excited about the future of medicine. And I do honestly believe that stem cells will have a huge impact on our daily lives going into the future. This is very new stuff. With regards to the literature that’s already out there and the more research that gets put into this, people are just going to one day realize how important this is in their daily lives; and so, I’m very excited about it. There’s a huge possibility that everyone’s lives will be much better with this science — with the fact that we have stem cells, usable stem cells! I’m really, not only honored, but truly excited to be a part of Hope Biosciences. I cannot endorse it any more than I can right now. There’s no doubt.”
All of us at Hope Biosciences strive to make every one of our client’s banking experience a positive one. Whether for an adult or a newborn, stem cell banking gives the gift of peace of mind now and a promise of hope for the future. When you bank with us, you are guaranteed that a viable therapeutic product can be repeatedly produced from your cell bank if and when necessary — and that is banking with Hope.