Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor: How my cancer journey led to a career in reproductive law

I always took for granted that I’d have children someday. So when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in May 2016 at age 27, I was devastated. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a relatively aggressive cancer, so I knew I needed to start chemotherapy right away. However, I also knew that chemo can cause infertility. My oncologist at MD Anderson, Dr. Luis Fayad, said there was only a 20-30% chance of me becoming infertile due to chemotherapy, but I wasn’t comfortable with those odds. He understood my concerns and referred me to Dr. Terri Woodard, a reproductive endocrinologist at MD Anderson. Preserving my fertility after a Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis Dr. Woodard’s expertise in preserving fertility among cancer patients was evident the very first time we spoke. She was incredibly compassionate and she understood the urgency I felt about freezing my eggs, and carefully explained my options. I was shocked to learn that the egg-retrieval and freezing process could cost anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000. I was even more shocked to learn that my insurance wouldn’t cover it — because technically, I wasn’t infertile yet. I’d already incurred significant financial obligations by graduating from law school, so I had no idea how I was going to pay for this procedure. Fortunately, Dr. Woodard is also very resourceful. She told me about two different financial assistance programs that could help with the costs of freezing my eggs: one provides free medication and free or low-cost egg retrieval and freezing for patients who meet certain criteria. The other paid for the $7,000 medication that wasn’t covered by the first program. I am so grateful...