A Northampton man, who was told that he was infertile aged 24 following intensive chemotherapy, welcomed his first child into the world on New Year’s Day.
Dan Dimmer of Abington was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma - a rare form of cancer that evolves in the lymphatic system - over 17 years ago.
Following six months of chemotherapy back in 1999 the patient was told that he needed to store his sperm as a precaution because the medication could kill his reproductive cells.
He said: “It was quite frightening to think I could never have kids. I’m one of four boys, they all have children and it made me feel quite isolated.
“The six months of chemotherapy and daily survival was horrendous. Yet despite all the emotional and physical pain, being infertile at 24 as well as not knowing if I would be here to see my 30th birthday - that I share with my twin brother - was very traumatic for everyone I knew.
“I had depression, anxiety, low self-confidence and the inability to express how I really felt as I had nobody around me who really knew what to say or I could talk to, to compare experiences. I was truly on my own.”
After undergoing sperm count tests in the UK - which resulted negatively - Mr Dimmer travelled to the Czech Republic for answers but was left in the dark as the results were inconclusive.
In 2015, aged 39, Mr Dimmer met up with a friend, who introduced him to his wife, Clara.
The pair thought they would never have children naturally but they conceived their first child last year.
Baby Annie Huong Dimmer was the first girl born at Northampton General Hospital on New Year’s Day at 5:38 am, weighing 7lb 11oz.
He added: “It was a fantastic feeling that we created this beautiful little lady. We had the best gift and start to 2017 life could possibly give us.
“Annie was naturally conceived and we look forward to all the surprises and birthday parties on the first day of each year for the rest of our lives, reminding us what a special start to every year we all will share.”