But earlier that morning, Patricia happened to meet a woman and her son. Patricia was surprised to learn that the woman’s son also had cancer, and had undergone radio therapy that had stunted his growth. This got Patricia thinking about chemotherapy’s less commonly known side effects, including infertility.
Though it was painfully awkward for both stepmom and stepson to discuss, Patricia suggested to Alex that he freeze his sperm, just in case he wanted to have children in the future. So, in the 1990s, he did exactly that.
By the time he reached adulthood, Alex went into remission, never putting much thought into his frozen sperm.
Dr. Soto of the Sidney Children’s Hospital is on a mission to urge oncologists to educate their patients about the effects that chemotherapy has on fertility. She’s also campaigning to get federal government assistance for fertility storage and IVF treatments, both of which can be extremely costly.