After Battling Cancer, One Woman Received the Ultimate Mother's Day Gift with the Help of Penn Fertility Expert

May 10, 2012

Time chronicles the journey of Melissa Brown, a breast cancer survivor from Cape May, NJ, who had a child with the aid of Penn’s oncofertility program and her sister Jessica, a gestational surrogate. Their mother, Gail, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1984 at the age of 30. Melissa was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 26, decided to undergo a bilateral mastectomy and went on to have chemotherapy infusions side-by-side with her mother. Melissa’s oncologist recommended that she undergo fertility preservation as a “sort of insurance policy for the future” for when she may want to have children. Clarisa Gracia, MD, MSCE, director of Penn’s Fertility Preservation Program, froze Melissa and her husband Steve's embryos, which were later thawed and transferred to her sister, Jessica. Jessica successfully carried twins – a boy and girl – who born on April 17, 2011. And this year, Melissa and her family celebrate their second Mother’s Day together, happy and healthy... Read More