by Jeff Manning
Since 2009, the LIVESTRONG Foundation has directly served cancer patients and survivors whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility with reproductive information, discounted fertility preservation services, support and hope through the Fertile Hope program. While the program will still provide dedicated LIVESTRONG Foundation navigation, selfnavigation tools, training, advocacy and financial assistance, it will now be known simply as LIVESTRONG Fertility.
For many cancer patients, preserving the ability to have biological children before beginning treatment can be a heartbreaking struggle. Insurance providers frequently fail to cover expensive services like banking sperm or freezing eggs. Patients often face intense pressure to begin treatment right away, leaving little time to figure out their fertility preservation options. And tragically, patients are sometimes not informed about the potentially compromising effects of cancer treatment upon their fertility.
More than 400 fertility center locations in 48 states have joined the Foundation’s financial?assistance program that offers discounted services to cancer patients. Since 2004, the program has saved 3,000 men and women nearly $13 million in treatment expenses — 900 of whom received benefits in 2012 alone.
Anyone affected by any type of cancer can apply at any time to receive financial discounts from the Foundation’s partnered centers.
“By investing in these important and innovative cancer support programs, the Foundation aims to empower cancer patients and survivors to plan for a family even after a diagnosis or treatment that may be damaging to their fertility,” said Emily Eargle, LIVESTRONG Foundation Navigation Manager. Through LIVESTRONG Fertility, health care professionals can also access tools to speak with patients about fertility risks and options, with sample presentations, guidelines and referral sites.
For more information about LIVESTRONG Fertility, visit LIVESTRONG.org/we-can-help/fertility-services.