Daragh Castaneda's Biography
March 2014, marked my six year anniversary in my current position with Pacific Fertility Center. As the Director of PFC's Egg Donor Agency and Pacific Fertility Egg Bank, I have had the privilege to work with many wonderful and amazing patients and have taken much pride in being able to contribute to their dream of building a family.
I was born in San Francisco and grew up on the Peninsula in San Carlos. I am the oldest of three, with one sister and one brother. My father was a professional musician who toured with his band around the country during the first few years of my life. Time spent with my father was usually at the sound check for the big performance that evening. I learned how to play piano before I could read and spent many years playing cello competitively. I have fond memories of my early childhood and credit my father for my musical "gene". My mother is our family rock. I was lucky enough to have her home during most of my childhood. She returned to work during my early teen years and just this past year finally retired. I credit my mother for teaching me how to be a good person; be reliable, be honest, and always follow through. My parents have been married for 45 years and I am blessed to have them both still here in the San Francisco Bay Area with me.
During my first year in college, I was in a major car accident. My car collided with a jackknifed big rig on the 101 freeway. In those chaotic moments after the crash, I remember feeling frightened and confused. The first person who made me feel like everything was going to be okay was Buddy, the paramedic who responded to the emergency call. He was calm, professional and made me feel safe. It was in that moment that I realized I wanted to help people in the same way. A few years later, I became an Emergency Medical Technician in San Francisco.
I have worked in several capacities within different organizations in the world of fertility. I spent time at Stanford Reproductive Endocrinology Center assisting in all egg retrieval surgeries and at CPMC Prenatal Diagnosis Center where I learned about the importance of genetic testing in family planning. Along the way, I have been blessed with wonderful opportunities and made great friendships.
In my current position, I feel lucky every day. I love my job, respect the people I work with, and have enjoyed meeting the many patients who have touched my life.
In November of 2012, I gave birth to my daughter, Savannah. As a woman of "advanced maternal age," I worried every day that I wouldn't be lucky enough to be a mom. I worked on my career after college and met my husband later in life. There was a time in our relationship when I didnt know if becoming parents would happen for us. Thankfully, we got to the other side and I couldnt be happier. Being Savannahs mom has brought my life so much joy. My husband and I always say how lucky we are to have her. It is in those same moments that I feel grateful to have the job that I do. Every patient, every journey, and every birth announcement brings me an incredible amount of joy. I am thankful to be part of that joy.
- Daragh Castaneda
Director, Egg Donor Agency