Thursday, August 13, 2009
For many young adults, a cancer diagnosis is completely overwhelming. But having to make major decisions about your reproductive future can add stress to an already difficult situation. How many 22 year olds know how many, if any, children they want to have, or how to make sure its an option for their future AFTER going through cancer treatment? Even if they can answer those questions, how many people, young or old, can afford to take the measures necessary to ensure their reproductive options?
This is where Fertile Hope comes in:
Founded in October 2001, Fertile Hope is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing reproductive information, support and hope to cancer patients and survivors whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility.
The organization was founded by cancer survivor Lindsay Nohr Beck as a result of her own endeavors to preserve her fertility in the face of critical cancer treatments.
The permanent changes in reproductive function are now recognized as one of the most prevalent side effects of cancer therapy. Over the past three decades cancer fighting treatments including chemotherapy, radiation and surgery have led to major advances in the cure rates of various malignancies occurring during the reproductive years, but all have the potential to cause permanent infertility. While several successful fertility preservation options are available, they are underutilized due to a general lack of awareness, education and financial resources.
Fertile Hope addresses this be providing education, financial assistance and support to young adults, as well as by raising awareness and contributing the fertility preservation research. Please visit their web site for loads of great information, or check out the founder Lindsay's blog. If you are in the Pittsburgh area, we have copies of Fertile Hope's 2008-09 Cancer & Fertility Resource Guide available, and would be glad to put one in your hands.