Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 5:20 EDT

Cancer Diagnosis Doesn’t Halt Plan to Start Family

October 6, 2011

SEATTLE, Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — It was 24 hours the Montgomery family would never forget. The day after Matt Montgomery learned he had rectal cancer, he and his wife were in another doctor’s office talking about starting a family with in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

The Montgomerys, who were having trouble getting pregnant, had made the second appointment earlier, unaware of Matt’s cancer. And with the latest news, they considered canceling it. Not only was Matt’s diagnosis shocking, but his treatment would likely leave him infertile. However, they kept their meeting with Seattle Reproductive Medicine, and physician Nancy Klein helped the couple find a way forward.

Three years and two babies later, the Montgomerys are busy parents, and Matt is cancer-free.

The Montgomerys benefited from fertility preservation, which helps patients maintain reproductive options that could be limited by disease and treatment.

The need is great. An American Society for Reproductive Medicine study found that fewer than 50 percent of physicians referred their cancer patients to reproductive specialists. To help, Seattle Reproductive Medicine recently launched a website, www.SeattleFertilityPreservation.com.

“A cancer diagnosis is frightening, but it doesn’t have to mean an end to fertility,” Dr. Klein said. “Families have options.”

Matt had a sperm sample frozen, and as he began cancer treatment, his wife, Kooy, started the process leading to IVF. Matt said he was looking to the future. “We wanted to be capable of having a family regardless of what happened to me.”

Kooy soon became pregnant. Their son, Wyatt Peregrine, was born Sept. 11, 2009.

After the birth, the family used another sample of Matt’s frozen sperm and Kooy, 39, was soon pregnant again. Their daughter, Maizy Clementine, was born Jan. 11, 2011.

Kooy said she’s thankful for fertility preservation. “Without it, we wouldn’t have had the things we wanted so badly. It was a really, really difficult time but we made it through.”

About Seattle Reproductive Medicine

Seattle Reproductive Medicine is the largest fertility center west of the Mississippi River, with 13 physicians in four locations. Partners have been awarded National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grants and their work in reproductive aging has received international recognition. For more information, visit www.SeattleFertility.com or call (206) 301-5000.

SOURCE Seattle Reproductive Medicine

Source: PR Newswire