When diagnosed with Hodgkin‘s Lymphoma in the early 1980’s Mike Kuzminski, a rock musician from Canada had to be regularly taken off the road whilst touring with his band to receive chemo and radiotherapy. Infertility was a major side effect for about 20 per cent of Hodgkin‘s sufferers in the 1980’s, but Mike, then aged 18 had not even considered having children. Luckily his forward thinking oncologist at a Canadian fertility clinic advised him to go ahead and freeze his sperm. Fast forward 22 years and Mike Kuzminksi was now hoping to start a family of his own, however Mike learned he was infertile after having a series of tests. Oddly enough, it never crossed his mind to go back to the Calgary clinic where he'd stored his frozen sperm years ago. "I didn't even consider my sperm would be there. I'd forgotten about that life," he said.
On a Christmas visit home to Alberta in 2003, Kuzminski's sister reminded her brother of his frozen sperm -- giving her brother and partner a hope of conceiving a biological child. Kuzminski tracked down the name of the clinic and called almost immediately. After waiting on the phone for some minutes, Kuzminski got the happy news from a staff member at the clinic, who replied; “We totally have you here -- and you owe us $2,000 for storage."
On the 1st of November 2007, baby Jacek Kuzminski was born in Langley, Canada, in what has been deemed a Canadian record for fertility treatment. The sperm they used had been on ice for more than 22 years, originally frozen by a Planer controlled rate freezer, and kept at liquid nitrogen temperatures in a cryogenic storage vessel. Planer machines are still in use at the clinic today.
Physicians across the country are trying to agree on guidelines for what should be done with abandoned frozen sperm. Kuzminski said he was both surprised and thankful that his frozen sperm had not been destroyed despite the fact that he had not paid nor contacted the Calgary clinic where it was stored for more than 22 years.
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