I Lost a Friend Yesterday

Samuel S. Thatcher, M.D., Ph.D. wasn’t well-known outside of his field and if you didn’t know anything about infertility, you’d never had heard of Sam. A quiet man, with a wife, and no children, Sam’s legacy was instead the hundreds of families created through his clinic and research.

In May of this year, Sam began his battle with acute myelogeneous leukemia. Knowing Sam, we all thought he’d win. After all, he’d diagnosed himself with a blood smear. But within two months, he’d begun induction therapy, and had lost 50 pounds, as well as the ability to eat, smell or taste. Chemotherapy and blood transfusions followed, as well as initially encouraging results on the re-biopsy. But pneumonia and a host of other problems plagued him, and he needed surgery again, but his platelets were simply too low.
Despite his aggressive treatment at Vanderbilt Cancer Center, Sam never returned to his practice and passed away Friday afternoon, December 18, 2009 in ICU, with his wife Helen nearby.

While those who knew Sam will miss him, the rest of the tragedy of Sam’s passing is how much the world will never learn because a great scientific researcher is gone. As an author of books on reproductive health, his books helped thousands of women.

Today, I am asking his friends to make a donation to honor his memory.

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