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One Austin father hopes his story of infertility brings hope and shines a light on the issue

Here's how getting a second opinion gave a former NFL star his first Father's Day.

AUSTIN, Texas — This Father's Day, one Austin dad shared his story of infertility in hopes of bringing awareness and hope to other couples.

Former NFL player Tony Cline Jr. is no stranger to competing against the odds, so when he and his wife, Lisa, struggled to have a baby, he needed a special team. 

"I was examined several times and I was on medication for a year, and over a year," said Tony. "Lisa convinced me to get a second opinion." 

That second opinion was reproductive urologist Dr.Parviz Kavoussi at St. David's South Austin Medical Center. He diagnosed Tony with a varicocele, which left him with nearly a zero sperm count. 

Dr.Kavoussi said it happens in about 1% of men in the U.S., but he sees it weekly. 

RELATED: Former Texas Longhorn Colt McCoy helps kids with Father's Day shopping spree

"So when we think about 1%, I know it doesn't sound like very many, but we live here in a city of nearly 1.5 million people," said Kavoussi. "If we say roughly half of them are men, that means one out of every 100 of them is in that exact same situation." 

With a minor surgery, Tony's sperm count improved. Kavoussi said about one in seven couples have trouble getting pregnant in the U.S. within about a year from the time they start trying. Twenty percent of that time, it's just on the malefactor side.

"Unfortunately, there's been a lack of focus on the male fertility side," said Kavoussi. "So it's just not an area of where we're really well educated on in society, but also in medicine." 

RELATED: Brink of a fertility crisis: Scientist says plummeting sperm counts caused by everyday products

After three years of trying, and with 1-month-old baby Bianca now in her arms, Lisa can talk about another odd the couple had to face – in-vitro. 

"So for me, it was about a 10-day process with the in-vitro shot, with the medication before I had my egg retrieval," said Lisa. "I was so naïve about the whole process. That's why it's just so important to have a network of other people that have gone through it." 

As Tony celebrates his first Father's Day, he hopes their miracle baby lets others know that they are not alone, and you too can find your special team.


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