Thank You Dr. Lederer

by Kathy on January 20, 2013 · 17 comments

in Bereavement, Gratitude, Hope, Infertility, Life, Loss, Memories, Molly, RE, Sadness

Today I received a letter in the mail from the Fertility Centers of Illinois, the clinic that we worked with during our Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) cycles in 2007. I was surprised to see the return address and joked with Bob as to what it might be about.

As I slid the two page letter out of the envelope, I was shocked to read the news in very first sentence. Dr. Kevin Lederer, the Reproductive Endocrinologist who we consulted with, was our doctor and helped bring Molly into our life and family, had died earlier this month “after bravely battling an extended illness.”

I did not know he was sick and I am still digesting the great loss of this man who helped to bring hope and children to so many families who struggle with infertility.

I have fond memories of our consultations with Dr. Lederer before and after each ART cycle, a few phone conversations I had with him and most memorably the day (October 11, 2007) he performed the embryo transfer which grew to be our precious baby girl Molly Marie.

My heart aches and goes out to his wife, children, other beloved family members, friends and all those whose lives Dr. Lederer touched throughout his life.

Tonight I am holding Dr. Lederer’s loved ones close in my thoughts and prayers.

Words can’t begin to express the gratitude and sadness I feel and that I know is shared by so many who knew Dr. Lederer.

Dr. Lederer never got to meet our baby girl Molly in this lifetime. As unlike many of his patients, we never had the opportunity to introduce Molly to the man who helped her come to be, because she died so soon after she was born. But I do find comfort in believing that Molly was among those who welcomed Dr. Lederer into Heaven. Imagining that meeting brings a smile to my face and tears to my eyes.

Rest in peace Dr. Lederer and thank you for everything.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kari January 20, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Wow, I feel so sad for your loss.
Because he was a HUGE part of your life and your happiness.
You should write his family a letter, they would truly appreciate your words.
Loved ones who are left behind are touched by words like those you will write.
What a great man and what a beautiful legacy he leaves behind him.
Hugs.

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2 Kathy January 20, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Thank you for your kind words Kari. Our situation is a bit unique, since we never got to bring Molly (the baby that Dr. Lederer helped us to conceive) home, but we still are grateful for how he tried to help us expand our family and continue to learn from having Molly in our life, if only for a short time. I will consider writing a letter to his family. Thank you for the suggestion. I read many of the comments on the Legacy.com guestbook connected to his obituary today and was moved to see so many of his patients sharing how much he meant to them and how they wouldn’t have many of their children if it weren’t for him. I agree that loved ones who are left behind appreciate hearing from those whose lives were touched by the person they are grieving the loss of. Thanks again for your comment and hugs.
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3 Jjiraffe January 20, 2013 at 10:47 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. Your post reminded me how much REs mean to us, even though we might not always express our gratitude. Our RE is so key to my whole family. Thank you for reminding me.

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4 Kathy January 20, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Thank you. I hadn’t thought about Dr. Lederer in awhile and certainly didn’t expect to receive news like this today. I agree that his death is a sobering reminder to recognize those in our lives that have made a difference and try to let them know before it is too late.

After Molly was born and died in 2008, I wrote a thank you note to Dr. Lederer and the staff at the FCI location where we saw him most of the time. I did this for all of the medical professionals that were involved in caring for my family and I during our pregnancy with Molly. The notes were included with her birth/death announcement. Even though ours wasn’t a typical ART “success story,” I still wanted our RE and his staff to see pictures of the baby girl that we were blessed with, in part due to their roles in helping bring her to be. I will be forever grateful for that. You are welcome for the reminder and I do hope (and believe) that REs know how much they mean to us.
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5 Joy January 21, 2013 at 12:18 am

It was so nice of them to send a letter out to the families – but oh so tragic! I am so sorry that you were hit with this unexpected news. He sounds like a wonderful person whom many people were so very blessed to know!!!

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6 Kathy January 21, 2013 at 9:18 am

I agree Joy, I am so glad, while also sad, that they did. Thank you for your kind words. Though I didn’t know him outside of his work as an RE, I can only imagine how many lives he touched through his work and his personal life.
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7 Lori Lavender Luz January 21, 2013 at 9:59 am

What a beautiful tribute to this man who touched so many, and who contributed so much to your life, Kathy.

Hugs from me to you.
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8 Kathy January 21, 2013 at 11:49 am

Thank you Lori. I appreciate your kind words and hugs.
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9 Amy January 21, 2013 at 11:06 am

Beautiful tribute. I to have tears and a smile for this heavenly reunion.

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10 Kathy January 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Thank you Amy. I love the idea of their Heavenly reunion. For some reason I didn’t think of this before I read your comment, but yes, technically it is a reunion and not a first meeting, because it was Dr. Lederer who transferred Molly into my uterus, when she was just an embryo, back in October 2007.
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11 Justine January 21, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Sending love and light to you and to Dr. Lederer’s many loved ones today. I love the idea of Molly being there to welcome his spirit home … what a beautiful image. I hope that his family takes some comfort in the knowledge that he gave such life-changing gifts to so many families.
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12 Kathy January 22, 2013 at 8:02 am

Thank you Justine. As always, I appreciate your kind words and support. I too hope that his family is able to find comfort in the awesome legacy he leaves behind.
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13 Keiko January 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Kathy, this is just beautiful. It is strange and somewhat haunting the way grief and loss has touched your family building journey. Wishing you much peace and comfort.

Also, just FYI: your post was just tweeted out by FCI this afternoon: https://twitter.com/TheFertilityDrs/status/293786358454034432
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14 Kathy January 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Thank you so much Keiko. I agree. Though I am sure there have been other REs that have died over the years since or while people/couples/families have been in treatment, it never crossed my mind that our RE would die only six years after we started working with him. The odds and my family have a very bittersweet relationship.

Thanks for the heads up, FCI asked my permission to share my post first, which I appreciated. Since I wrote/shared this I have discovered that more people I know locally/IRL were patients of Dr. Lederer. Our shared connection to him somehow never came up before. It is hard to wrap my brain around, while also it warms my heart, to think about how many lives and families Dr. Lederer and so many other REs touch and help through their vocations.
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15 Kristin January 22, 2013 at 11:55 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all Dr. Lederer’s loved ones.
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16 Colleen January 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Sounds like the world lost a wonderful man!
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