In 2013, Rebecca Cleere received a devastating diagnosis. She learned that she had stage 2 endometrial cancer. Rebecca then learned that the cancer treatments that could save her life would likely affect her ability to have biological children in the future. While only 29 years old and single, Rebecca knew that one day she would want to have a family. After speaking with her oncologist about her options, Rebecca decided to participate in a fertility preservation program offered by Dr. Walid Saleh at SIRM Dallas to preserve her fertility before undergoing cancer treatment. Going to SIRM Dallas before her prior to starting her cancer treatments allowed Rebecca to freeze her eggs and preserve her ability to have biological children in the future.
Building a Family After Treatment
In 2016, Rebecca returned to SIRM Dallas after completing her cancer treatments and marrying the love of her life! Rebecca and her husband dreamed of building their family, and Dr. Saleh and the SIRM Dallas team were honored to help them achieve those dreams. While Rebecca’s eggs had been safely stored before her cancer treatment years before, the complete hysterectomy she underwent meant she needed a surrogate to start her family. Luckily, her sister was ready and willing to help, offering to be her surrogate. The team at SIRM Dallas worked with Rebecca, her husband, and her sister to help them become pregnant through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). In December of 2017, the family welcomed a beautiful baby girl! This journey was incredible, emotional, and at times very difficult, but Rebecca and her husband now have the family they have always dreamed of. Dr. Saleh and the SIRM Dallas team are proud to have had the honor of helping this family!
Rebecca certainly understands the emotional impact infertility has on a woman, and wants others facing infertility to know that for her it “was so difficult to come to grips with the fact that I couldn’t have my own baby.” Finding the right doctor and practice is incredibly important for women facing a cancer diagnosis that can impact their future fertility. “I am so thankful that I learned about SIRM Dallas and Dr. Saleh , He took the time to look at my case specifically and understand the unique needs that I had,” said Rebecca. “I never felt like a number and always had personalized attention.” Read more about Rebecca’s experience at SIRM Dallas in her own words.
Options for Fertility Preservation
While many cancer treatments (such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy) can negatively impact your fertility, if you are facing a cancer diagnosis like Rebecca, there are steps that you can take to help preserve your fertility for the future. If time permits, we encourage you to meet with our fertility specialist, Dr. Walid Saleh, to discuss your fertility preservation options prior to beginning treatment.
Some options available to women facing a cancer diagnosis include:
- Egg Banking
- Embryo Banking
- Ovarian Tissue Banking
For women who have a complete hysterectomy like Rebecca, working with a gestational carriers can offer an opportunity to achieve their dreams of family.