Sacra Logo

What is the core problem that Anja Health is solving?

Kathryn Cross

Co-founder & CEO at Anja Health

I founded the company because of my younger brother. When he was 1 and I was 3, he was in a near-drowning accident that gave him cerebral palsy. 

My mom started looking into different treatments for him. She took him to China and was looking into naturopathic methods, but really the best solution she could find was using umbilical cord blood. 

There's a study happening at Duke University where children that are using their own umbilical cord blood are able to improve their own motor and social skills. My mom started trying to find a cord blood match for him, but typically, it's really difficult to find a match if you're a person of color or mixed race. 

Even if you can find a match, then you have to be on immunosuppressants. It’s similar to taking on an organ through an organ transplant—biologically, it becomes a very big deal. 

In the end, we were never able to find a cord blood match for my brother, and he passed away at 19 from complications related to pneumonia and his cerebral palsy. When he passed away, I was inspired to start the business and do something in his memory that could have helped him—his name was Andrew, so I named the company Anja. 

We're on a mission to help convey to parents the importance of saving their stem cells, so that in the future their family can unlock treatment options and be on the frontier of healthcare.

Find this answer in Kathryn Cross, CEO of Anja Health, on the future of stem cell therapy
lightningbolt_icon Unlocked Report