Speaking to New Jersey natives Jessica and Brady Fox, one can immediately sense the love, affection, and dedication they have for each other and their lives together. Originally high school sweethearts, they got married and began having children in their mid-twenties.
“I was pregnant with our first child in October of 2011,” Jessica says. “We were both twenty-seven years old. But then, Brady got diagnosed with leukemia in November, and our whole world changed overnight.”
With Brady’s outpatient treatment scheduled from January through June of the next year, Jessica spent much of her time navigating pregnancy and leukemia appointments.
“On the one hand,” Brady says, “we were ecstatic to be having our first baby. On the other hand, we were also facing some huge health challenges. So, the highs were very high, and the lows very low.”
The Newborn Possibilities Program
In December 2011, Jessica went to her twelve-week appointment for her first ultrasound. As she was leaving, a tech stopped her and gave her a brochure for two things that Jessica had never heard of: newborn stem cell preservation and CBR’s Newborn Possibilities Program.
Reading more, Jessica learned that cord blood stem cells had been used for years to help treat conditions like leukemia and sickle cell anemia. If Brady needed a stem cell transplant in the future, their baby’s cord blood could potentially be used to help treat his condition.
CBR’s Newborn Possibilities Program was designed to help families who might potentially use newborn stem cells in the near future for a stem cell transplant or experimental therapy. Because CBR provides qualifying families free newborn stem cell processing and five years of storage, families can preserve without worrying about the initial costs.
Wanting to do everything she could for Brady and her growing family, Jessica applied soon after reading the brochure. Due to Brady’s diagnosis, they were accepted right away.
Jessica’s Lightbulb Moment
By the time Jessica gave birth to their daughter, Avery, the hospital had already started Brady’s treatment to help rebuild his immune system after chemotherapy. The doctors told the Fox family that their baby’s newborn stem cells — though they couldn’t be used at this time — could potentially be used at a later date, if Brady needed a stem cell transplant.
“We were in the middle of soliciting donations for Brady,” Jessica says, “and, realizing that there might be a second phase or another use for our newborn stem cells down the road, it made sense to use the Newborn Possibilities Program. The more I learned about the science and potential for other uses in the future, the more grateful I am that we have them — just in case.”
Since he’d been in remission for less than four years, they still qualified for the Newborn Possibilities Program when Jessica gave birth to her other two children, Evan and Lucas. Now they preserve for all three of their children.
The Fox Family Today
Between three children and two full-time jobs, life is pretty full for the Fox family these days. Plus, Lucas, their two-year-old, is getting into everything lately (including a box of pancake mix that he lovingly sprinkled around the house 😬).
All in all, they’ve been very careful during COVID. “When you get sick at twenty-seven years old,” Brady says, “you don’t take things for granted. I’m cognizant of the fact that other people may have bad outcomes, and you never know who that’s going to be. So, day to day, we live more cautiously than we did before.”
At CBR, we’re honored to be able to help the Fox family and others like them. By sponsoring more than 9,000 families and counting through the Newborn Possibilities Program, we’re doing our part to help the scientific community realize the full potential of newborn stem cells.
We’re especially proud to help those who have used their stem cells. Like Ava, whose in-utero diagnosis of a grade 4 intraventricular hemorrhage qualified her for free cord blood processing and five years of storage. After occupational and physical therapies, a cord blood infusion, and a lot of hard work, Ava got better at moving her legs and is now an avid ballerina!
If you think your family may be eligible for the Newborn Possibilities Program, CBR’s clinical specialists are available to discuss your family’s medical history and how newborn stem cells might be applicable to your family. Speak with a clinical team member today at 1.888.932.6568.
Expecting a child? Have friends or family who are expecting a child or grandchild? Enroll with us today or log into your account for your unique referral code. When someone you refer preserves with CBR, you’ll get one year of free cord blood storage—and they’ll receive special pricing on our newborn stem cell bundle!