Doctor Reunites With One of His First IVF Babies, Now 19

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 General News J E 4
Nearly 1,000 guests expected at 20th Anniversary celebration of Dr. Rifaat Salem's practice June 18 in Torrance

LOS ANGELES, May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- When April Gooding was born 19 years ago in Torrance, infants like her were called "test tube babies" and in vitro fertilization was still considered experimental. Nearly two decades later, almost 4 million IVF babies have been born, including several hundred who will join April and the fertility expert who helped create her as one of his first successes.

Now majoring in biology at San Jose State University, April, her parents and grandparents will join Dr. Rifaat Salem at Pacific Reproductive Center's Annual Baby Reunion June 18 in Torrance.

The reunion marks the 20th anniversary of his medical practice, joining some of the oldest and the youngest children born under his care. After six years of "unexplained infertility," Valerie and Jeff Gooding tried IVF at PRC, and April was born March 19, 1992.

She will meet Paige and Taylor Hansen, 13, whose parents spent five years trying to start their family before they tried IVF under Dr. Salem's care.

Also attending will be the Sorianos, who came to PRC for genetic tests needed to detect an inherited disease they did not want to pass on to their children, achondroplsia, a form of dwarfism. The tests allowed PRC's experts to transfer only healthy embryos in order to give birth to Logan, a perfectly healthy 16-month-old.

"It's difficult to describe the joy of seeing so many happy families that we helped create all together," Dr. Salem said. Close to 1,000 guests are expected at the reunion that also features parenting expert Nanny Stella of "Nanny 911" and a Free To Be Me Drum Circle performance.

Dr. Salem was a founder of Pacific Fertility Center-Torrance for six years before founding PRC in 1996. He holds two master's degrees – in biochemistry and physiology – a doctorate in neuroendocrinology from UCLA, and a medical degree from the University of Southern California.

PRC's reunion is Saturday, June 18, noon to 3 p.m. at PRC, 3720 Lomita Boulevard, Torrance, CA 90505. Invitees may register at

About PRC. Founded in 1996, PRC is Southern California's leading fertility practice with success rates among the nation's highest. PRC maintains four PRC clinics with fully licensed surgical facilities and laboratories. Visit




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