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Fertility Preservation Journey


Inspiring Journeys of Those Who Chose to Pursue Fertility Preservation

Peter Bastone: CEO, Proud Dad of Four, Cancer Survivor:

FertileFuture - Fertility Preservation Journey with Peter BastoneCreating Success in the Face of Adversity

One look at Peter Bastone, the fit and well dressed CEO of Mission Hospital, and you would never imagine that this is a man who has beat cancer not once, but twice and is the proud father of four children conceived by IVF with sperm stored prior to cancer treatment.

At the young age of 17, Peter Bastone was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, which at the time came with a life expectancy of 3-5 years. Bastone never considered the effects the radiation therapy may have on his fertility. His main focus was on surviving.

"When you are diagnosed with cancer, the only thing you are focused on is beating it," Peter says.

However, it was a conversation with a hospital social worker that opened his eyes to the possibility of fertility preservation. On the recommendation he received, Peter banked his semen specimens prior to the start of his treatment regime. He postponed his acceptance to Princeton for a year and received the treatment he needed.

Motivated by the events in his life, Peter's aspiration was to go to medical school. When he was told he would likely not get in due to his cancer, it only inspired him more to succeed.

And succeeding in life is just what he did. Team Captain of Princeton Football Team, Speaker for the American Cancer Society, and the recipient of a Master's Degree in Business and Public Health from UC Berkeley are just some of the achievements Peter had in his youth.

Unfortunately, in 1986 Peter Bastone's cancer returned. This time the treatment would require chemotherapy and the doctors warned Peter that the treatment could make him sterile. He stored several semen specimens with California Cryobank in the hopes to one day have children of his own which he did a few years later with his wife, Julie.

Peter's proudest achievement to date has been the beautiful family he shares with Julie, complete with four children conceived by IVF. A proud father, Peter beams when he shows pictures of his wife and children: Frankie, Dominic, Gino and Rachel.

Peter's journey with cancer and infertility inspired him to develop a fertility program at Century City Hospital in the 1980's. He also recognizes the importance of increasing awareness of the fertility preservation options available to young adults who are diagnosed with cancer each year.

"There has never been a progressive effort to have these types of discussions with cancer patients… If you are a young person, you look towards marriage and having children," he says.

Peter Bastone, a leader in the healthcare industry, is excited about the great strides that have been made in the science dealing with cancer and infertility.

"The science continues to improve… the chances of having a child, your own child, are growing each year with changes in technology," says Peter.

Now, Peter is the CEO of Mission Hospital and has so many more accomplishments to date.

"Everything I have done since I have had cancer was not expected," Peter reflects.

An unexpected success and true inspiration, Peter's story gives hope to many cancer patients and survivors looking to make a mark in the world and have a family of their own someday.



Dan Hale: Newly Married, World Traveler, Cancer Survivor:

Dan hale and WifeLife's hurdles offer unique opportunities, hope and sometimes miracles!

Marriage is supposed to be an exciting beginning for a couple as Dan Hale courted Jeanette Soloma for a year and half to propose to her on New Year’s Eve 2006.

Typical excitement brews as you select a date, plan for your wedding and sacred promises to one another in front of family and friends. A future together filled with love, harmony, dreams and family planning.

Dan, an optimist and charismatic regional sales manager for Festool USA, never expected a cancer diagnosis, especially at the age of 42. On Thanksgiving of 2007, Dan walked into the ER where his body was systematically shutting down. With his potassium levels at 1.4, his body was slowly shutting down the use of his hand, arms and then legs to keep the brain, heart and lungs operating.

Released after stabilizing and identifying a tumor in a gland, Dan would shortly undergo a laparoscopic adrenalectomy. After the surgery, news came back that the tumor was malignant, which one would have thought the worse. However, the initial diagnosis was that the tumor was entirely encapsulated within the removed organ and there were no signs that it had spread. With a smile, he was a cancer survivor and didn't even know it!

Life and plans of an exciting future together resumed. In April 2008, Dan and Jeanette took their vows on a beach in Tulum, Mexico before family and friends. They began conversations and planning of quality time together before they started a family and when that might happen. New Year's Eve 2010 in Paris, France seemed to fit both their conception goals.

However, at a follow up medical visit, a scan revealed that the removed malignant tumor had metastasized and spread to Dan's lungs and near his heart. Three new sizable tumors were identified. With an additional scan the couple also learned that the tumors were also aggressively growing and were in delicate and dangerous locations ruling out surgery.

Dan and Jeanette's journey is one of optimism and positive thinking. The first positive step taken was towards planning and cementing their future together. They contacted California Cryobank and arranged to bank a number of vials before Dan underwent chemo therapy.

Emotional planning towards a healthy future together with Jeanette and children helped Dan through what should have been a very difficult time. After 8 months of treatment, they  received the good news that not only had the three areas of concern shrank, they had disappeared altogether. The doctor's excitement really confirmed to Dan that this was a miracle.

To share with his bride and rekindle the conversation that they were going to be healthy together and have a family was priceless. Looking back on follow up visits with the doctors, lab results and scans, it was a positive attitude and hope that Dan attributes to making it through this. The confidence that Dan had safely banked their future with California Cryobank provided a great deal of peace and focus for both his wife and himself. Currently, Dan is cancer free with a bright future.

He is looking forward to hopefully a new addition to the family in 2010.



Matthew Zachary: I'm Too Young For This! Founder, Proud New Dad, Young Adult Cancer Survivor

Matthew Zacahary and Family

As a 14-year young adult brain cancer survivor who was originally diagnosed just six months shy of my college graduation, I know all too well the imperative of fertility preservation. I do not see it as an option, rather a right, for anyone diagnosed with cancer in their fertile years.

My generation tends to fall off the radar when it comes to these survivorship issues, which is why I proudly founded the I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation in 2007 - the voice of young adults.

Today, we are the nation's leading grassroots advocate for the next generation of survivors and caregivers. We exist to ensure that every young adult affected by cancer is given access to the best age-appropriate support they are entitled o in order to get busy living at every stage of their survivorship.

For more information, please visit

Exciting Update from Matthew - In May 2010, Matthew became a new dad to twins!

Being a father of twins is a life-changing shift in my perception, understanding and appreciation for the life, the universe and everything in between. It is the greatest gift I could have ever hoped for in my life - a life I do not take for granted at any moment in time.





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