Could you please provide a brief intro to your career/background?
Hi, I’m Victoria Ekanoye and I’m a British actress and singer. I’m most famously known in the UK for my role as Angie Appleton in ‘Coronation Street’, and in the US for my role as Rachel in ‘The Royals’. I started my career in ‘The Lion King’ in the West End, after moving to London from Greater Manchester, where I was born and raised.

Why did you decide to store your baby’s stem cells?
As parents, we always want to do the best for our children, even before the baby is born. During my pregnancy, I came across Smart Cells and learned that I could store his umbilical cord stem cells to help treat any potential future illness.

Had you heard about stem cell banking ever before? If so, where?
I’d been doing quite a lot of research to prepare for becoming a mummy and so was quite surprised that I’d never heard about stem cell banking before. Once I found out, I did more research on the subject and was blown away by just how many illnesses it could help treat.

What has your experience been like with Smart Cells?
Smart Cells made the process really easy and organised absolutely everything, so we could fully focus on baby once he was here.

Did the process work as you had expected it to? Did you find it to be an easy process?
Smart Cells send someone to collect samples straight after birth and then take the kit for processing, so everything is stress free and taken care of for you.

Are there any obstacles that would have prevented you from using our service?
As long as you inform the midwife of the amount of time you’d like the delayed cord clamping to be then you’re fine.

What would you say to a friend or colleague who was thinking of using Smart Cells?
With anything medical and especially concerning your baby, I would always suggest that parents do their own research, but Smart Cells have been wonderful for us and we’re incredibly happy with their service.

Would you recommend this service to others? If so, why?
From our personal experience, we would recommend Smart Cells in a heartbeat. They covered every aspect of the process, were incredibly thorough, patient and respectful once entering the delivery suite and the 24hr communication was excellent and very reassuring.

What would be your advice to any parents who are looking into storing their baby’s stem cells?
Do your research, discuss the pros and cons and make your decision from there. For us it was an easy decision and we’re so happy that we are able to have our baby’s stem cells stored. It has given us peace of mind knowing that they are there if we ever need them for treatment in the future. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and so worth doing if you can.

Is there anything else you wish to add?
When doing the research, we found that there are a plethora of illnesses, including Covid 19, that can be treated with the cells. I personally have Sickle Cell Anaemia and with the incredible and pioneering work being done, this could be an amazing step in the right direction in helping to treat and cure the condition.

Thank you Smart Cells, you’ve been amazing and although we hope to never need to call on you, it gives us great hope and peace of mind that we have you in our corner.

Victoria, Jonathan and baby Théo xxx