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MTV Documents a "True Life" Journey at NASA Langley
In a laboratory at NASA's Langley Research Center, Chris Wohl looked through an atomic force microscope to study lunar dust adhesion on surfaces -- just as he has grown accustomed to doing in support of NASA's renewed interest in surface exploration of extraterrestrial environments.

The anomaly on Thursday was a MTV production crew filming over his shoulder.

Chris and his wife, Candace, are being featured in an upcoming episode of "True Life," an hour-long documentary series, which has covered more than 140 topics from drug use and money issues -- to simple social behavior like visiting the Jersey Shore.

MTV filming Chris Wohl.
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MTV Producers film Chris Wohl working at NASA's Langley Research Center for an upcoming episode of "True Life," which will feature Chris and his wife Candace. Credit: NASA/Katie Bethea

The episode that the Wohls will appear in, which will air sometime in 2013, is likely about infertility or a couple’s desire to become parents. According to Andrew Huang, MTV director and executive producer, the episode is still evolving.

The show is created by a camera crew that follows a series of subjects through a certain part of their lives.

"It's a timely thing that they came when they did," Chris said.

That's because his wife is preparing for her sixth and final round of IVF (In vitro fertilization). If this round is not successful, then the Wohls plan to adopt.

They hope to have "two, maybe three" children.

In 2006 and 2007, Chris survived two critical brain surgeries called craniotomies, which motivated them to start a family. After two years without conceiving, the couple began IUI (intrauterine insemination), but the six attempts did not work. In 2010, they began IVF treatments.

Their struggle with infertility has been accompanied by drastic learning curves, which the couple tends to handle with optimism. The Wohls consider filming as an opportunity to help others who may still be at the early stages of infertility.

"We really want this story out there so that we can be a resource to other couples," Chris said. "At one time, we were wide-eyed and a bit ignorant about infertility, and how difficult it can be. And sometimes, just knowing that others are going through the same thing can be helpful."

The Wohls did not apply to be on the show, but an MTV casting agent, Evelien Kong, noticed a Twitter post about their blog (http://ourmisconception.blogspot.com/), which shares their journey and misconceptions with infertility. Kong contacted them through a private message and asked if they would consider taking part in the documentary. After hours communicating by phone and email, they were chosen for the show. Filming began three weeks ago, just before Candace went into a fertility-related surgery.

While at NASA Langley, Huang and MTV Producer Chuck Thornton filmed Chris working in the lab and interacting with his supervisor. They also took some supplemental footage of the center.

Both Huang and Thornton were excited about the opportunity to visit a NASA center.

"It definitely has that 'wow' factor," Thornton said.

Added Huang: "I've never met anyone who was responsible for a fact … someone who actually discovered a scientific fact in this world."

The producers are in Hampton Roads for three days to document Chris and Candace. Some shots include how they have changed their diet and lifestyle to boost their chances of fertility, a doctor’s appointment, and portions of Candace’s career at C.H. Robinson Worldwide.

"I learn more about people with every shoot, every day," Huang said. "I try to take what I’ve learned and impart that on our audience."

The Wohls are enjoying their time in the spotlight, and they look forward to seeing which scenes of their "True Life" made the cut when the episode premieres next year.

By: Denise Lineberry

The Researcher News
NASA Langley Research Center
Editor & Curator: Denise Lineberry
Executive Editor & Responsible NASA Official: Rob Wyman