The beauty of the Livestrong Survivors Fund
This spring, Texas Fertility Center celebrated the pregnancy of a cancer survivor who was diagnosed as an 11-year-old boy. He did not have the opportunity to preserve his fertility prior to chemotherapy. However, fortunately, an advanced reproductive technology called ICSI enabled him to become a father. Twice. Read Chris and Mandy’s story here.
Livestrong Fertility, formerly Fertile Hope, shares our passion for raising awareness about fertility rescue so that cancer survivors do not have to sacrifice their reproductive health to cancer. “Fertility rescue” refers to the medical procedures used to collect and cryopreserve (freeze) eggs, sperm or embryos for later use in a fertility treatment cycle. When necessary, women undergo a fast-track IVF cycle, including ovulation induction and egg retrieval, to collect and freeze eggs. Men provide a sperm sample for cryopreservation and use after they survive their cancer.
The Livestrong Survivors Fund – An alternative plan for starting a family
According to the Livestrong Foundation, there are 300,000 pediatric cancer survivors who may need fertility treatment to get pregnant. Lifesaving cancer treatments can cause women to enter premature menopause, or permanently damage sperm production. These young men and women may not have undergone fertility rescue as described above. Like Chris and Mandy, they will likely need advanced fertility services to get pregnant.
For patients who have “banked” eggs or sperm, the preserved genetic materials will be used to hopefully lead to a pregnancy. For those patients who did not have the opportunity to store their gametes, donor eggs or donor sperm will most likely be necessary for successful conception.
Livestrong Fertility provides financial resources for helping men and women afford the cost of fertility preservation. They can then pursue treatment when they are ready to start their family.
Apply for a Livestrong Fertility Grant
Austin-based Livestrong Foundation and EMD Serono are offering grants to qualifying women who need fertility treatment due to cancer. Visit the Livestrong program page to access the forms, or click here to talk with a patient advocate at Texas Fertility Center. Our compassionate staff can help you start a new chapter in your life.