Take Charge

With Fertility Options New Hope Grows

April 03, 2018

Rachell-and-Family.jpg Rachell Moodie, her husband and daughters, Madelyn and Hannah.

By Sara Bondell

If you asked a 9-year-old Rachell Moodie what she wanted to be when she grew up, the answer was easy.

A stay-at-home mom.

She never imaged that years later cancer would threaten her biggest dream.

At 24, Moodie was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. She remembered something her grandmother had told her when another young family member was undergoing cancer treatment: chemotherapy can cause infertility. Moodie told her oncologist, “I am going to be a mom, so let’s figure out this fertility thing before this chemo thing.”

Moodie underwent two weeks of fertility treatments before she started chemotherapy and five years after beating cancer she became pregnant thanks to in vitro fertilization. Her daughter Madelyn was born in October 2014.

Then in a turn of events Moodie calls “so strange,” she naturally conceived another daughter about a year later. Hannah joined the family in the spring of 2016.

“Madelyn is my reminder that God keeps his promises and that there is life after cancer and Hannah is my reminder that God can do anything he wants to do,” joked Moodie.

When it comes to fertility, Moodie says it’s important for all adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients to be informed. “Whether they ever think they will be a mom or a dad, get the information. Information never hurt anyone.”

There are several fertility preservation options, however each one must be considered in light of each patient’s specific needs. The options include:

For women:

  • Egg (oocyte) freezing
  • Embryo freezing

For men:

  • Sperm bank (freezing)

 Other options:

  • Donor-assisted reproduction (donor eggs, sperm and embryos)
  • Surrogacy
  • Adoption
  • Child-free living

A member of your medical team can make an appointment for you to meet with a fertility specialist, but no referral is necessary. To make an appointment, call the University of South Florida Fertility Preservation Clinic at (813) 259-0692 or visit www.usfivf.com. USF fertility specialists also visit Moffitt monthly.