Britain's most successful female alpine skier Chemmy Alcott has taken steps to protect her precious newborn baby boy in the future by opting to bank his cord blood cells.
As the adrenaline junkie introduces son Locki with her husband, former British champion skier Dougie Crawford, in an exclusive interview and photoshoot with HELLO! magazine, Chemmy explains why she opted for the scientific treatment, which took place just after she gave birth on January 13.
"Thinking about how Dougie and I are adrenaline junkies, the likelihood that he's one too is quite high," she told HELLO! before explaining that blood containing potentially life-saving stem cells is saved from the umbilical cord soon after the birth.
Chemmy and Dougie with their baby son, Locki
"It's an insurance policy you don't ever want to use," she continued. "I did some research into it a while ago when my leg was broken in a ski accident. I had to see a plastic surgeon who talked about how stem cells can be used to help the skin heal. So I had quite a personal experience of it, knowing it might have been used to help me."
Locki – whose full name is Lochlan Arthur MacDonald Crawford - was born at Surrey's Kingston Hospital weighing 8lb 3oz. Fittingly, he chose to make his arrival just as snow started to fall outside. "The moment I was told I could start pushing, I could see it had started snowing outside," Chemmy recalls. "I got very teary and said to Dougie, 'This is it; he is coming. He is ready." And, given Chemmy's passion for the slopes, as well as her husband's, she tells HELLO! it's inevitable that Locki will put on a pair of skis as soon as possible.
"Obviously Locki will be skiing because we ski all the time, but we just want him to love the sport and have the passion that we have for it, as a lot of his life will be in the mountains – but it's his choice."
Read the full article in HELLO! out now