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Testicular Cancer Patient, Against All Odds, Is Now A Father

Focusing On The Patient Journey
Taghrid Asfar, M.D., M.S.P.H.

Microdissection testicular sperm extraction was used to identify potentially viable sperm to preserve for future in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Richard Gaff is a fighter. He served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan after 9/11, but his biggest battle, by far, was facing testicular cancer. It was discovered in not one but both of his testicles, which is extremely rare.

Gaff had surgery to remove one testicle but was hesitant to remove the other one because he wanted to be able to have a biological child. The problem was his second testis was not producing sperm.

“I was not ready to let my dream die,” Gaff said. “I knew in my heart there was still a chance I could become a father.

As Gaff underwent treatment for his cancer with Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., the founding director of the Desai Sethi Urological Institute, COO and director of robotic surgery at UHealth, Ranjith Ramasamy, M.D., a member of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and director of reproductive urology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, successfully performed a microdissection testicular sperm extraction to identify potentially viable sperm within Gaff’s testis and preserve the sperm for future in vitro fertilization (IVF). Dr. Ramasamy is one of the few surgeons in the country able to perform this highly specialized fertility preservation procedure.

Gaff is now cancer-free and the father of a beautiful baby girl. “Kadence is definitely a miracle baby,” Gaff said. “My wife, Danni, and I are blessed to have her because of the medical expertise and cutting-edge technology only available at a highly advanced research hospital like Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and UHealth – the University of Miami Health System.”