MEET Phil, Anita and Noah Phillips, the family who play happily together thanks to the advances of 21st century science.
Noah is 15 months old, but he was only born because Phil, of Gold Street, Podington, had his sperm frozen 12 years ago when he was first diagnosed with testicular cancer. And despite having had cancer three more times since, when Phil and Anita decided to start a family they were able to do so because of advice Phil received when he was a 24-year-old.
He said: “At the time I was single and I wasn’t thinking about marriage or kids at all. But when the doctors advised me to get my sperm frozen, I thought ‘why not?’
“You hope that it won’t be necessary, but chemotherapy can leave you infertile. Having had cancer three more times since I am very happy that I made that decision and that it’s gone to creating our son, Noah.”
When Phil and Anita were ready for a family they went to the clinic where Phil had had his sperm frozen 10 years earlier.
Phil said: “It was surreal. Anita had to use a nasal spray to induce increased egg production and then she had to have injections and internal scans. I didn’t have to do anything.”
Anita said: “We always knew we’d have to go down the IVF route because Phil had his treatment before he met me. It was exciting planning to start a family, but you never know what will happen.
“We were very lucky first time around and now we have Noah.”