“Congratulations! Your cells are now 5 days younger than you are!” — my ForeverLabs profile.
Stem cells are self-renewal cells that, if collected young, can be used later in life for a variety of age-related disease like arthritis, heart disease, and stroke.
Or as my friend Cedric Dahl described it to me,
“We get to stop aging. We’re basically vampires without the whole blood drinking thing.”
While storing stem cells doesn’t quite equate with living forever, there does seem to be a loose hope (or buzz) that as medical technology improves in the coming decades then stem cells may be used for additional up and coming anti-aging treatments.
ForeverLabs is a company that facilitates affordable stem cell banking and storage. In 2017 they joined the Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator, and that’s when they came on my radar. Last week I had my stem cells banked. Here’s a few takeaways from the experience:
Why did bank my stem cells now?
Apparently, the younger your cells are when you bank them the better. Many parents are even banking their newborn’s umbilical cord blood for similar long-term health effects.
What can banked stem cells do for you right now?
Right now, knee arthritis seems to be one of the primary treatments for stem cells. According to my doctor, it’s fairly common for people with knee injuries to have stem cells extracted from their pelvis and injected it into their knees. And yet, the younger your stem cells are, the better off you are. Read more on ForeverLabs’s research page.
Did it hurt?
The procedure took about 15 minutes and didn’t hurt. I laid face down on a table, and the doctor drew bone marrow from my pelvis through my lower back. Afterwards, I felt slightly fatigued and was told not to exercise for two days. There was slight soreness in my lower back, but it was mild and went away after a few days.
How much did it cost?
The process is $2000 with an additional annual storage fee of $250/year. Definitely sign up for the mailing list though, because they do offer specials. After being on the mailing list for 12 months, I was able to nab the new year’s special which brought the cost down to only $500.
Do you want to live forever?
No thanks. The only thing greater than the anxiety of death would be the anxiety of living forever. For now, I just want to live well within the time I have — and that includes taking care of my health.
Are you a doctor?
Me? No. I’m not a doctor. This is all new to me, so please research stem cells for yourself, and talk to your doctor if you are interested in banking your cells. Don’t blindly follow the advice of some random guy on the internet.
Overall, I think of ForeverLabs as an investment in the future. Just like any investment, there’s no guarantee of success, but the potential upside is huge compared to the initial cost.
It’s also a small drop in the bucket compared to health insurance (I pay $500/month) and of course in America these costs get higher with age.