Yes guys you are reading this right. I can confirm that I am expecting a child.
Or more accurately 10 children
I can confirm one hundred percent that this is true, for last year I was admitted to the London Sperm Centre after a number of tests, as a donor. After my diagnosis I wanted to see what the process was for freezing some of sperm and having done some research I found that the best way is one of London’s sperm banks. The snag was that only 1 in 10 people are accepted, due to family history, viability and several other tests.
The reason I started looking into this was to plan ahead. if I needed chemotherapy it would be very sensible to make sure I had put aside some of my genetic material in case it was damaged. After I looked into though I read some very sad stories about couples who couldn’t have children, for whatever reason, and realised that actually I could help people as well.
Having kids was something I have been thinking about anyway. When you are confronted by your own mortality you begin to wonder what legacy you will leave when you die. That is in part why I pushed my book out so quickly. What else would I have to show when I died, what is the point of me? Well I didn’t want to die childless and although I really wanted to help shape a child, instill my beliefs and pass on my experiences I could actually do both. Having children live on after me was something I actually found a little comfort in, strange as that may sound. It would also insure that there was something of me left after I died if I didn’t manage to have kids in the natural sense.
The first hurdle to this was clearly my cancer. Would they accept me, knowing I have an incurable cancer? The first thing to work out was whether it was familiar, or if it’s just a genetic fluke. After a series of discussions it turns out my condition is not hereditary (so Mum, Dad, you can stop worrying, although knowing you Mum, this seems unlikely) and that actually it was just a fluke.
After this was decided I had to give them all of the other information from my Siblings, Parents, Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles and Cousins. They then gave me a score on likelihood of carrying something that would be detrimental to any of my offspring. They add up any genetic conditions from my family and check them against a list. Short sightedness, ok, coeliac, also ok.
After this I had to produce a sample. This was a peculiar experience, but once done they took it away to check it for viability. To be accepted I had to have above average fertility. This breaks down into volume, motility (how much they move) and how they react to being frozen and thawed. Turns out I’m average on volume (note to self, drink more water), but I make up for it by having decent swimmers, so that’s good.
After this we had blood tests. I wasn’t surprised to find these clear, as I have had all tests you can imagine already. Finally I had a physical examination. So that was fun.
Anyway long story short I am now a signed up member to produce offspring. Interestingly I can only provide it to 10 couples, although they can have multiple donations from me to keep their brother and sisters fully genetically the same.
I can imagine some of you are thinking, can’t they track me down and the answer is yes, at 18 the child can come and find me. They aren’t due any fiscal aid, but otherwise they can make contact.
I have no problem with this, especially when I found out they could keep my samples for 55 years, and give it out at any time. That’s right, I could have a daughter at the ripe old age of 87 and then they could come find me 18 years later. Seems unlikely doesn’t it…
I think this is a really worthwhile thing to do and am glad to be part of it, even if I have committed to producing 100 vials. At 3 vials a go.. it took a while, but I have now finished and been discharged. I only filled 35 vials in the end, as my samples were difficult to freeze at times, but even so they seem happy and have everything they need to give them out.
The one really amusing thing is I get paid for doing it. having not taken any money all the way through the process I will be getting a lump sum of about £800, for expenses (as they can’t pay you to donate). I’m not really sue what I’m going to buy with this money, as it will forever be sperm money in my head, but I’m sure I can find something amusing to purchase with it…
So having donated I had to write a statement to parents who take my donation, and then rather more poignantly one to any children I have who reach the age of 18. That was quite a difficult thought. what to tell someone who is genetically your child but is completely divorced from you. This is what I ended up writing.
Goodwill message for anyone born from my donations.
Hello. I am so pleased that my donation has resulted in your parents being able to have children. I wish I could share with you everything I have learnt in this life, but am restricted to an A4 sheet of cold text. The most I can do is say, whoever you are, or choose to be in the future, I want you to be happy. Don’t let other people pressurise you, do what YOU want to do. Be yourself and follow your dreams, whatever anyone else tells you is possible. Remember that although life will be tough at times, not every day can be great, and everyone has bad days, make sure you cherish those days that are good. The ones where you have fun. The ones where you realise how much people care about you, the ones where you can be yourself with your friends and laugh until 2 in the morning. Just make the most of these and try not to let people upset you.
Also you will find that most things that upset you will fade in time. People can hurt you with their words and deeds, but time does ease this. Try and be patient with people. They often try their best, and although they come in all shapes and sizes most people try and stick to their morals, even if those are different to yours.
I discovered I had cancer last year, and it was really tough. After taking the time I needed to get over it, I realised it just made me want to achieve more, to do more. Don’t worry on that score by the way, it’s not a genetic condition. It has taught me what was important. Family, friends, having fun, those things are important. All the other crap just fades into the background. Just make sure you let people know how much they mean to you whilst they are still around, grandparents and other people won’t be around forever. Life is fleeting, make the most of yours.
I have achieved a lot of what I wanted to in my life, and it’s important that you do whatever it is you want to. If you want to be a doctor, teacher, care worker, astronaut, shelf worker, make sure you do it. If you want to be a pianist, gardener, author, traveller, Olympian, follow those dreams. The only limit to what you can achieve is yourself, and you will find you can do far greater things than even you realise.
Finally remember this. Knowing you are a result of a donation does not make your parents love or treasure you any less. If anything the struggle they went to have you, to create you against the odds, means they will treasure you more. No one is perfect, forgive your parents their flaws. Someday you may need people to forgive you yours.
Best of luck with everything. Do what you need to, to be happy.</e