A Renewed Hope
Published: 7/14/2009

Danielle Foote with her newborn

Danielle Foote was diagnosed with a spinal tumor in 2002 and had to receive radiation therapy at age 19. The technology was not yet perfected to protect her ovaries, and she subsequently developed premature ovarian failure. Our Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility (REI) clinic physicians have helped her achieve pregnancy through frozen embryo transfer cycle using advanced reproductive treatments that were made available through the clinic.

Danielle met Dr. Sana Salih to begin the embryo selection process. According to Danielle, “Dr. Salih walked me through all steps so that I understood everything… and the entire staff was very compassionate.”

In the past few years, UW has established an Anonymous Donor Embryo Program and Danielle received donated embryos from another couple that had completed their family through the UWHC REI clinic.

“I was able to see some fascinating pictures of the thawed embryos. They would tell me which ones were good and not so good.”

The UW REI division has an active oncofertility program that strives to preserve and enhance reproductive health and fertility of male and female patients diagnosed with cancer.

According to Danielle, “I have always wanted to carry a baby and to look down and not see my feet.”

Danielle was able to get pregnant on the first try and Alyssa was delivered on August 2, 2008 via C-Section at 8 lbs., 9 ounces and 21 inches long.

Third party reproduction such as donor eggs or donor embryos is a viable option for patients with chemotherapy and radiation therapy-induced ovarian failure. Counseling cancer patients prior to treatment will give the patients the option of preserving their future reproductive function.

The ultimate goal is to achieve pregnancy as naturally as possible using the patient’s own gametes. Danielle is one of the many couples that the REI clinic has helped to achieve pregnancy and build a family.

Danielle will never be able to thank Dr. Salih and the REI staff enough for helping her through this process. She felt the service was exceptional and, “without a doubt, would highly recommend the UW REI Program!”