I hope this post finds you well, and that you and your families are making the most of these early holiday season days. I wanted to deviate from my typical investing/financial planning topics to discuss an exciting project that I have been involved with for the better part of 3 years. I also wanted to take a moment to wish my readers a very happy Thanksgiving and joyful start to the holiday season. I’m fortunate that so many of you turn to this forum for investing and personal financial guidance, and I’m dually honored that many of you continue to ask me such insightful and though provoking questions. Thank you for reading my blog posts with such interest, it has been, and continues to be a pleasure to write them for you.
My wife, Julie, and I have been as busy as ever – our boys make sure of it. Both Henry and Logan are growing so quickly now and offering us new surprises every day. Just a few short weeks ago Henry started to crawl. Logan has been having a great first year at school, and loves being a big brother to Henry.
It's astounding, sometimes, to look back at life before the growth of our family. I know I speak for both Julie and myself when I say, we can't imagine a world without our boys. They have changed our lives in such amazing ways.
Before Logan was born, Julie and I began exploring the option of collecting and storing his umbilical cord blood. We had heard of the science and knew that cord blood was rich in uncontroversial, life-saving stem cells. Through research, we discovered that the possibilities of stem cell use were vast. The science was, and still is, developing rapidly, and new uses for stem cells are discovered every day. At the time, I became convinced that the possibilities would not only change medicine forever but, because there is no “expiration date” for stored cord blood, these stem cells could provide security for my son years down the road. As a father, of course, Logan's safety has always been my greatest priority. Ultimately, Julie and I made the decision to store his cord blood.
Going through the process myself, it became my belief that every family should have access to this potentially life-saving technology. Unfortunately, because all of this is relatively new, the decision to store cord blood is too often a financial one. As a financial advisor and young parent, this point really resonated with me. We chose to store Logan's cord blood with a 'big name' in the industry, and, while I knew I'd made the right decision, I also felt that the cost of this service was prohibitive. Parents should not be forced to pay the marketing costs of these large companies to keep their children safe.
I founded Genecord (www.genecord.com) in early 2011 in an effort to make private umbilical cord blood storage and processing more accessible and affordable to new parents. I wanted to take part in the future of regenerative medicine, offering one product at an honest price. Now, after almost 3 years of arduous work, I am happy to report that Genecord has been successfully running with a team of cryopreservation and tissue banking pioneers, amazing customer support staff and a state of the art cord blood laboratory facility. We have been processing and storing cord blood units from across the United States, and we've been receiving a great deal of positive feedback from our customers.
This all started because we wanted to provide the best future for our son. Now, because of him, I educate new parents-to-be on the importance of stem cells and cord blood storage, and, maybe most importantly, I have proven that this decision doesn't have to be a financial one. I am very proud of what my team has accomplished so far.
Both Julie and I love to share our experience with this new science, so, if you know anyone who is expecting, please don't hesitate to ask us for more information. Our program consists of collection, processing, and 20 years of storage. Feel free to contact me, and I'd be happy to provide you with all the details.
This has been an amazing journey. Thanks so much to all of you for the support so many of you have shown along the way.
Jason M. Gilbert, CPA/PFS, CFF
Jason Gilbert is Managing Director of RGA Investment Advisors LLC. He has over 10 years of experience in investment advisory, including portfolio construction, financial strategy, and advanced planning for high-net worth and institutional clients. He maintains an extensive background in both forensic accounting and personal finance, and serves as a fiduciary and trusted partner to his long-standing clients.