A cancer survivor from Ipswich has become a father after preserving his fertility through sperm freezing prior to undergoing chemotherapy, despite the treatment rendering him infertile.
Nick Foster, a 33-year-old resident of Ipswich, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Following IVF treatment with his wife Gergana (Geri), they welcomed their son Branimir (Bran) at the local hospital.
He expressed, “Had I not made the decision to freeze my sperm at the age of 24, I wouldn’t have the joy of being a father to my incredible little boy.”
Mr. Foster, who was living independently and single at the time, discovered lumps on his neck. The cancer had metastasized to his lungs and bone marrow, and his consultant informed him that chemotherapy would lead to a reduction in sperm count, rendering him unable to father children.
Prior to commencing his treatment, he was referred to the Bourn Hall fertility clinic in Colchester, where the National Health Service (NHS) covered the cost of freezing his sperm.
Reflecting on his mindset at that time, he stated, “While I had always envisioned having children someday, it wasn’t something I actively considered at that particular stage of my life.”
He expressed the emotional impact of receiving the news about potential infertility alongside his cancer diagnosis, saying, “Learning that I might become infertile, in addition to being diagnosed with cancer, was incredibly disheartening. However, having the option of sperm freezing for future IVF treatment was truly remarkable and provided a sense of hope.”
After undergoing the treatment, he successfully recovered and was officially discharged, despite having a “zero sperm count.”
In 2016, he crossed paths with Gergana, and four years later, they tied the knot. They began NHS-funded IVF treatment in January 2022, and within a few weeks, she conceived and became pregnant.
Describing the special bond between Branimir and his father, Nick, his wife expressed, “Every morning, Branimir’s excitement when he sees his dad surpasses that for anyone else. Their connection is truly remarkable and incredibly special.”
Dr. Arpita Ray, the lead clinician for Bourn Hall’s Essex clinics, explained, “In cases where it is suitable, freezing sperm or eggs before undergoing chemotherapy provides patients with the opportunity to pursue parenthood through IVF if the treatment results in infertility.”
Providing guidance to individuals facing a similar situation, Nick Foster, the new father, advised, “Even if you don’t have immediate plans for children, consider freezing your sperm. You never know how your life may unfold in the next decade, and circumstances can change rapidly. It’s a straightforward decision that can offer peace of mind.”
Source : bbc.com