“We are thrilled to have Phoebe who has made our lives complete.”
I can remember the day I first met Nathan – from the beginning I felt attracted to him. My friend introduced us in a restaurant, we went on to the cinema, exchanged phone numbers and he actually asked me to dinner a few days later!
It turned out we had so much in common with each other. He was so easy to get along with and we went out several times. Nathan was a Police Officer, and aged 28 I was just 20 when we started dating. It came as a shock when he said – “I think you’re amazing Ellie but feel we should stay as friends.” And that’s how it all started. We stayed good friends, I hid my feelings for him actually but we both stayed single.
But that all changed in 2012. Nathan phoned me and said he had found a lump in his testicle, he had seen his doctor and had some treatment but I was worried it might be more serious. A few weeks later I got this text from Nathan “worst case scenario: its cancer”. I dashed over to see him to say I would do anything I could to help him. Turned out that the tumour was growing quickly and had to be removed as soon as possible. The doctors told Nathan his fertility would be affected by the cancer treatment and he should have his sperm frozen immediately. Within a week he was at CARE Fertility in Northampton, storing his sperm. A couple of days later he had his operation.
The whole group of friends was in high spirits – we all felt the worst was over and we could look forward to the future. I was working as a teacher by this time and Nathan was happy that his ordeal was over. He actually hugged me so tight and said thank you for helping him. He did confide that he was worried at the reaction to his surgery. “I think people will see me as less of a man” he said. We all tried to reassure him and he had regular checks to at the hospital. It actually made us closer – our friendship grew stronger and then he asked me for a date!
Becoming a couple was so easy and natural – and all our friends were happy that we were finally back together… then things changed again.
We were devastated to learn from regular tests that Nathan’s cancer had, in fact, spread around his body “The doctors say I need chemo”. There were cancerous cells in his stomach, in his neck and under his arm. The specialists said he would need three sessions of chemotherapy – meaning three days a week in hospital.
But we were strong, I went to the first session with him – even his friends shaved off their hair in support!
Each time he had a check-up it was a time for reflection while we waited for results. But each time it was positive news and the doctors felt the cancer had been stopped.
In April 2013, in Paris, Nathan took me to the Sacre-Coeur and proposed. One year later we were married. In his speech at the reception Nathan was tearful “battling cancer was the biggest challenge of my life but it was the best thing to ever happen to me – it brought me and Ellie together”
After the wedding we started thinking about having a family. Because the chemotherapy treatment had affected Nathan’s sperm count – we decided to go back to CARE Fertility in Northampton to see what our options were.
The frozen sperm he had banked could be used with IVF – so that’s just what we did. Success!