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RESOLVE Kitchen Table Conversations: Cancer & Fertility Preservation

When a patient hears the words, “You have cancer,” most times, and rightly so, survival at any cost is the biggest focus. However, what many doctors fail to inform patients is that one of those costs is their fertility. And there are fertility preservation actions they must take immediately if they ever want to have children of their own.

In this episode of Kitchen Table Conversations, Joyce Reinecke – cancer survivor, mother, and Executive Director for the Alliance for Fertility Preservation – joins RESOLVE’s President and CEO, Barb Collura to discuss how her story and experience with infertility through cancer treatments brought her to a place of advocacy and connection for others walking through a similar season.

For 15 years Joyce has worked to help bring about change for men and women walking through a cancer diagnosis and their treatment options for fertility preservation – getting patients better information around fertility preservation options immediately upon their diagnosis, building increased fertility programs embedded in cancer centers, and survivorship initiatives. Changes in technology have also made it more possible to complete IVF cycles much more quickly than what was previously possible.

However, much remains to be done. In 2022, AFP received the Hope award from RESOLVE for their advocacy efforts in demanding insurance coverage for sperm banking, egg banking, embryo banking, and tissue banking – things cancer patients need in an urgent manner before they start any potentially sterilizing treatment. Infertility is a side effect of cancer treatments, and therefore should be covered just like any other side effect treatment such as anti-nausea meds or prosthetics.

Watch the full episode to learn more about Joyce’s story, work, and hope for the future for cancer patients who have yet to grow their families.

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