The Rosamond Gifford Zoo was chock full of children and their parents Saturday evening June 23 to help celebrate the 10th birthday of CNY Fertility -- a medical center specializing in treatments such as in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination. The center has grown from small beginnings at Community General Hospital to maintaining two separate offices in both Syracuse and Albany.
More than 2,500 past and present patients of the center arrived to honor the man behind their success stories -- Dr. Robert Kiltz.
Kiltz is the founder and director of the center, as well as the Syracuse physician. He was greeted with a long line of admirers who came far and wide to extend their gratitude and share in the festivities spread throughout the campus.
North Syracuse residents Debbie Williamson, her husband Jim and daughter Morgan, waited excitedly in queue to talk to their hero.
"He's a phenomenal man," Jim said.
The Williamson's sought Kiltz's help in 1998 when his office staff was comprised of just four people. They endured several problems and procedures prior to the birth of Morgan, now 7, who was an IVF baby.
"I could never have gotten through it -- between the emotional, the physical and the spiritual -- without my husband, Dr. Kiltz, Judy and Donna," Debbie said. Judy DeCoste is the office manager and Donna Miller is a registered nurse at the center.
Jim commended Kiltz for his compassion that "goes way beyond just the medical practice."
"He's a phenomenal man and a phenomenal doctor and I just love him," Debbie said.
Others in line emphatically agreed.
"Not only is he phenomenal," said Joanne Courto, past patient. "I sent him 15 girls and he was successful -- successful pregnancies with all 15 of my friends." Courto is the mother of five-year-old Daniel, an IVF baby born after just two tries.