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Our Patient Stories

Your joy is the story of our success.

At the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health, our patient stories have echoes, for both those who achieve their dreams of parenthood and for our teams who use these experiences to drive new improvements in reproductive medicine. The testimonials below are woven into the fabric of our program—they're part of our history and our future. The care continues, the treatment evolves.

A Story of Firsts: Erica, Tuiofu, and Thalia  

Faced with unexplained infertility, Erica and Tuiofu began treatment at UCSF hoping to grow their family. Their story ended up being an extraordinary first at UCSF’s Mission Bay location. Their embryos were the first created in the new lab – on the day it opened.

Baby Thalia.

"My husband and I were married in 2010, and we started trying to conceive in 2012. We had what they call unexplained infertility, and heard that UCSF did research on IUI cycles. We did about five cycles that were, unfortunately, all unsuccessful.

We took a break, came back, and tried IVF. We had a successful retrieval, but the day of the embryo transfer, I was in the room ready to go, and Dr. Huddleston noticed that I had some fluid in my uterus. She didn’t want to transfer the embryo into an environment where it was unlikely to succeed, and they made the decision to freeze the embryos. It was devastating, and I remember thinking, “What if we just try the transfer?” But Dr. Huddleston was looking out for me as a person — she wanted me to have the best possible outcome in the long run."

Read more about Erica, Tuiofu, and Thalia.

A Story of Resilience: Katee Mura

It wasn’t until after the loss of their first child, Landry, at just six weeks, and the birth of their second son, Lincoln, that  Katee Mura and her husband were both diagnosed as carriers of a rare genetic disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). While Katee was undergoing IVF treatments at UCSF CRF to try for another child, she was also fighting to get proper care for Lincoln, who has SMA Type 1, after being told he wouldn’t live past 6 months. Now, he is sitting up and saying words at two years old – milestones nearly unheard of for any child with the disease. 


After nearly three years, Katee is pregnant with her third child. Though the journey to grow their family took many unexpected and challenging turns, their incredible resiliency reinforces our team’s commitment offering comprehensive patient support – from IVF treatment to genetic counseling to third-party family building options. 

"We came to UCSF CRH after visiting other fertility clinics, and from the moment we met Dr. Martha Noel, we knew we were in the right place. While we were still grieving the loss of Landry and the loss of a "normal" life for Lincoln, we knew we still wanted to try for another child."

Read more about Katee's family.

A Story of Care: Michele Johnson

The measurement of success at UCSF CRH includes the atmosphere we create. No one can predict fertility outcomes, but our team can control the environment and foster a safe, inviting, and respectful space. This holds for every patient in our care – and here is one of their stories.

“I have been a patient of UCSF Center for Reproductive Health since 2016. Initially, it was an unfamiliar and somewhat scary process when I first began, but then I met Dr. Martha Noel and I knew everything was going to be okay. She helped my husband and me completely understand the process, what protocol would be best for us, really listened to all our concerns and answered all of our questions. She helped us put a plan together and made us feel safe on this tough journey. She is truly one of the best, most sincere, and caring doctors I have ever met." 

Read more about Michele's journey.

A Story That Continues: Leslie Feingerts and Tom Woo

Baby Hannah

"The doctors at UCSF are that rare combination of medically brilliant and emotionally in tune. I arrived at UCSF as a childless, stressed-out mess, and today I am the mother of two beautiful kids.

We couldn't have done it without the UCSF team. In addition to giving us hope, they also provided us with exemplary medical care and a comprehensive approach. If you are looking for a top tier clinic, I highly recommend UCSF."

A Story of Hope

"You changed the course of our lives, and gave life to our babies, who I hope grow up to do things just as important as this." 

"Our baby boy is laughing, kissing, hugging, and bringing our family so much joy. He joins his older brother, who is also a UCSF / CRH baby.

Dr. Huddleston, thank you for helping us make these two incredible children, and for helping me escape the insanity I felt around not being able to get pregnant. You changed the course of our lives, and gave life to our babies, who I hope grow up to do things just as important as this. Thank you for telling me “we’ll get there” when I didn’t know if I ever would, for being in it with us, and for having the knowledge, sensibility, and surgical skills to handle our challenges.

All of you have worked so hard just to be able to help your patients have the best outcomes possible. I'm in awe of your skills and wisdom, and we are forever grateful to UCSF for helping us conceive and birth these babies, and for sending us on our way as a healthy and whole family. You are forever in our hearts."

Dr. Hakan Cakmak

A Story of Teamwork

"Dr. Cakmak and UCSF CRH are the reason why we’re pregnant. With Dr. Cakmak, we finally found a doctor who actually listened to us and to what wasn’t working. Having a doctor look at your individual case — your eggs, your lining, your age — and not only come up with an individualized plan, but talk to their colleagues to figure out if there’s anything else that is missing is amazing. The UCSF CRH difference is the team approach, thinking outside of the box, playing with different options and trying new approaches. I truly don’t think we would have had this baby if we didn’t end up at UCSF."

Additional Stories

Below are some additional stories from patients who have undergone a range of treatment at UCSF CRH. We value their words and their willingness to share these experiences.

“This is my fourth fertility clinic (third one for treatment) and I love everything about UCSF. Yes it’s a huge research institution and there can be a lot of patients in the waiting areas and treatment lounges, but I feel like each interaction with me directly is personalized for my protocol.”

UCSF CRH Patient, Age 44

“The facilities have to be the best in the country. The Mission Bay Campus is incredible. I never had to wait more than 5 minutes for any of my appointments and I loved finding a book of notes for patients by patients that made me feel understood and less lonely going through the process.”

UCSF CRH Patient, Age 35

“We loved that we chose UCSF. From the doctor, nurse, phlebotomists, receptionists, they are an incredible team of people who get to help people make families and it shows that they value their role in that work.”

UCSF CRH Patient, Age 33

“The clinic is absolutely top of the line and has the latest research. The staff was warm and caring - even staff members you might see only once.”

UCSF CRH Patient, Age 36-39

“The clinic is the best of the best. They are organized and open daily to accommodate all cycles. I saw many different doctors for various treatments based on my cycle and they were all wonderful. UCSF is the best hospital around and the clinic is representative of that.”

UCSF CRH Patient, Age 37-38