Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
We have been advocating for this for years and are thrilled to see it come to fruition! Not only is this an excellent funding opportunity, but it is an amazing milestone for this field of research.
Learn more and apply (and let us know how Fertile Hope can help!)!
Friday, August 7, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
We plan to work diligently over the next 6 months to strategize on the best ways to leverage both organizations’ strengths to best meet the reproductive needs of cancer patients and survivors. We look forward to unveiling our plans in the near future. In the meantime, the LAF will maintain critical Fertile Hope programs including the website, hotline, financial assistance program (Sharing Hope) and brochure order fulfillment. You can continue to access our services as you always have online or by calling (866) 994-HOPE.
This is truly a historic moment for the organization and we welcome your ideas as we embark on great things. Read more…
Saturday, June 6, 2009
During this transition, we are pleased to be working with the Lance Armstrong Foundation to continue to administer our Hotline as well as our Sharing Hope financial assistance program. Please be aware, however, that a few of our programs are currently on-hold, including Centers of Excellence and Professional Education.
We remain committed to our mission of addressing the profound needs of cancer patients whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility and appreciate your patience during this transition. We are excited to share our plans in the near future.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
What do you think of the article?
Monday, April 20, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Last night, I was incredibly honored to present OHSU Knight Cancer Institute with Fertile Hope’s Center of Excellence award. The night began with an introduction by Dr. Brandon Hayes-Lattin, the Director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program at the Knight and a national leader on the issue. I was up next to present our Centers of Excellence award to Dr. Tom Beer, the Deputy Director of the Knight. Dr. Beer commented about the significance of his role as a father in his own life – personal, touching thoughts that really helped illuminate what we are trying do and achieve with this award. Then, Dr. David Lee, a true pioneer in ovarian tissue freezing and Fertile Hope Medical Advisory Board member, spoke about the what working together with the oncology team at the Knight has meant to him and his team at OHSU Fertility Consultants.
The keynote address was given by Eric Shanteau an Olympic swimmer, current world-record holder and testicular cancer survivor. (While Eric was looking sharp in his three-piece suit, he may have disappointed some in the audience who were hoping for a Speedo!) Eric’s description of his challenges with a cancer diagnosis in his twenties, in the public eye, in the midst of his bid for a berth in the Olympics, was funny, frank and moving. The very first question from the audience was whether or not he had banked his sperm! (Not a plant, I swear!) The answer, luckily, was yes.
After the event I was privileged to spend some time talking to Eric and I was impressed by his willingness to use his public persona to give back – in a role-up-your sleeves, do-the-work kind of way – and to do it so quickly – now – when he is less than a year from his own diagnosis and still training and racing.
Joyce had an incredible week promoting young adult cancer. What did you do to raise awareness about young adult cancer this week?
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I just had the opportunity to visit with the doctors and staff at Oregon Reproductive Medicine – a great facility and strong supporter of Fertile Hope for many years. We discussed opportunities for collaboration, and I was particularly interested in learning more about their “Fast Track” program – a special system designed to expedite and simplify the fertility preservation process for their cancer patients. It is a thoughtful and promising model...
What do you think reproductive clinics need to know about cancer patients in order to meet their fertility needs? Anyone other reproductive clinics have special programs for cancer patients?
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
- Will my cancer treatments put me at risk for infertility?
- What are my fertility preservation options?
- If I don’t preserve my fertility, what are my post-treatment family-building options?
- How long does it take for fertility to return and how will I know if I am fertile?
- Is pregnancy safe after cancer and what are the risks to my children based on my cancer and the treatments I received?
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I just saw Dr. Steve Cole of HopeLab give an amazing talk on their video game, Re-Mission, which was designed to help Adolescent Young Adult (AYA) cancer patients learn more about what is happening to their bodies and give them a sense of control over the cancer experience. It was a great presentation with much input from the audience about what they want to see (or not see!) in version two.
I'd love to know what Fertile Hope's followers think about using video games to teach kids about their cancer? Have you played Re-Mission? Any thoughts on integrating survivorship issues like fertility?
Monday, April 6, 2009
- 70,000 young adults (15-39) are diagnosed with cancer each year.
- Cancer is the leading disease killer among 20-39 year olds.
- Survival rates for young adults have not increased since 1975.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
In 2005, during my first IVF cycle to achieve pregnancy (not my egg freezing cycle), my doctor and I discussed single embryo transfer. I was desperate to have a baby and adamantly against it. That was 4 years ago and research come a long way since then, but I am still not sure my answer would be different today. While I have no interest in becoming the octomom, I like the idea of having twins. When I really dig deep though, the root of my decision is cost and convenience.
So, I wonder, would more people be willing to do single embryo transfer, if insurance paid for IVF? And, would insurance be more willing to cover IVF, if people did single embryo transfer? Maybe this is the answer we’ve all been waiting for…
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Check it out and tell me what you think!
p.s. In our poll 67% of you voted YES to selling advertising on our website for the Referral Guide, so we did. The companies who advertised made this cool new tool possible. Thank you!
Monday, March 30, 2009
All the recent baby news sent me down memory lane to a time when it was unbearable. I was always happy for my friends who were pregnant, but I was also incredibly sad that I wasn't yet (and didn't know if I would ever be). Every cliché was true - and I hated it.
I also hated (and still do) the feeling of telling someone that I know is wrestling with infertility that I am pregnant (and/or talking about my kids). It is like telling someone dying of cancer that you are a 5 year survivor. It doesn't seem fair. I am usually overwhelmed with survivor's guilt. And, I never know what to say. Even worse, I feel like everyone thinks I should know exactly what to say because I've been there. The expectations are high - and I always fail to meet them.
Ever been on either side of the fence? Advice?
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Cancer and fertility made primetime!
I can't wait to see what this means for cancer, survivorship and fertility...
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Some warn that this data should not be the only factor used when choosing a fertility doctor or clinic. Here are some additional factors to consider:
- Qualifications and experience of personnel
- Types of patients being treated
- Support services available
- Recommendations & Reputation
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
- April 25 - San Diego
- May 9 - New York City
- May 16 - Chicago
Monday, March 16, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
02-OD(OSP)-101* Unique Ethical Issues Posed by Emerging Technologies. Advances in biotechnology and biomedical science raise novel ethical, legal, and social issues. Research in this area is needed to understand the unique ethical concerns related to emerging technologies (e.g. biotechnology, tissue engineering, nanomedicine, and synthetic biology). These include issues such as dual use research, privacy, safety, intellectual property, commercialization and conflict of interest, among others. Research is also needed to assess how these novel issues are addressed under current oversight and regulatory structures and identify where there may be gaps and/or need for revised or new oversight approaches.
Learn more and apply.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Fertile Hope collaborated again this year on the fertility session, and Christine Duffy, MD, MPH whose research focuses on decision making around fertility by women with breast cancer, and who is a survivor herself, gave a great presentation that really homed in on the issues and questions on the mind of the 80+ women in the audience. Allison Rosen, PhD presented the adoption session, which had a great deal of information about international and national adoption possibilities. There were almost as many women in that session. Both sessions were recorded and will be available online at http://www.youngsurvivorsconference.org/.
It was exciting to see the pregnant bellies and glowing cheeks of some survivors this year. One came to the fertility session and shared her story of getting pregnant after having her ovaries removed (she got pregnant through IVF using embryos she had frozen prior to treatment). A lot of women didn’t know that it is possible to carry a pregnancy even if one is in menopause, so it was great to hear her tell her story. Another woman stopped by the fertility session to tell us that she came to this session at the conference four years ago and was anxious about her fertility status then but now four years later she’s pregnant!
As this was my first time attending this conference for Fertile Hope, what was striking to me was talking with so many women who might be in treatment or only weeks out of chemo, but were already planning exactly when and how they were going to start a family. This was true whether or not they had taken steps to preserve their fertility (and most hadn’t). Fertility is not part of the survivorship experience only at the time of diagnosis or when trying to get pregnant or become parents, but it's on women’s minds from the day they are diagnosed until they become mothers once, twice, or four times over."
Monday, March 2, 2009
No matter the state of the economy, we are all still eating, drinking and socializing and fundraising events are a way to do all of this and give back all at the same time. Pick an event with a ticket price that matches what you’d normally spend on a night out. It is such a simple way to get out and give back.
2. Buy brands that give back
This is the easiest way to kill two birds with one stone. Buy something you need from a company that will donate a percent of your purchase to charity. Cause-related marketing – as this is called – is everywhere.
3. Make a few small donations
In economic times like these, many of us don’t have the means to contribute at the levels we used to, so we stop altogether. Instead of skipping the check, consider making a few small donations. If you can no longer give $1,000 – send $250. If you can no longer spare $100 – send $10. Believe me, every penny helps and nonprofits appreciate your support no matter how small or large.
4. Don’t wait until the end of the year
Most people wait to donate until the end of the year in the midst of holiday shopping, stress, and over-spending. Instead, try donating in April (when you are reminded how beneficial those tax write-offs are!), summer months (when you are spending more time engaged in free activities like lazy days at the beach) or any other time of the year when there may be a little more flexibility in your budget.
5. Share your talents pro bono
Yes, this is a fancy way to say volunteer. But, when you hear volunteer you think stuffing envelopes and other non-glamorous activities. Instead, offer your talents to your favorite charities pro bono. Accountant? Offer to do their books. Graphic designer? Design a brochure or event invitation. Musician? Play at an event. PR expert? Create a media plan or send a press release to help the organization get highlighted by the media. There is no end to how you can help and it can be much more fun and rewarding than stuffing envelopes.
Do you have any other ideas to share on how to support your favorite charity in a recession?
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
p.s. Know of any other recent articles on cancer and fertility? Let us know.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
p.s. They are available in Harper (pink), Jordan (green) and William (blue).
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
- $10 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for biomedical research in areas such as cancer and stem cells (including at least $1.2 billion for cancer research).
- $1 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for prevention and wellness programs including cancer screening and education programs and, maybe, infertility (if we can get it recognized by the CDC as a disease!).
- 65% federal subsidy for COBRA health insurance premiums for up to nine months for workers who lose their jobs from September 1, 2008 through December 31, 2009.
- $19 billion for a national health information technology system to support electronic medical records in hopes of lowering medical costs and improving quality of care (which would also greatly help with improved informed consent around cancer-related infertility).
I would love to know more. Anyone have any additional knowledge, insight or opinions as to how this will affect the cancer and/or fertility communities?
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Fertile Hope sent out a request to corporate donors asking them to support us just because – just because we are a great organization, we spend your donations wisely, the long-term benefit of your support will benefit your business, we’ve proven time and again that we are effectively meeting people’s needs and growing the market, etc, etc, etc. The return rate was dismal. Coincidentally, two months later, we sent out a request to the same companies asking them to support us in a way that also promotes them. The return rate was phenomenal - companies were literally fighting for limited placements and begging to be included! Lesson learned.
Now the key is to continue to come up with creative ways to meet the cancer community’s needs in ways that also have big benefits for our funders. Any ideas?
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Today, I was in a great meeting brainstorming with a diverse group of leaders from the reproductive community. The meat of our conversation was how to change this – specifically, how the entire reproductive community can work together to increase awareness and improve access.
I truly believe that we can achieve more together than we can alone, which is why meetings like this get me very fired up. The key is to make sure that the conversation doesn’t stop with the meeting. So, while we all digest all of the ideas discussed and before we move forward with any new programs, I want to solicit your advice. How do you want to see us remove the infertility stigma and increase access to treatments?
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
“Just found out... My ovaries are d-e-a-d, dead. Thanks to you, I have those seven frozen eggs, hope, and no regrets.”
Needless to say, Fertile Hope’s work is important and I am here to stay. Check out more inspirational stories or share yours. We all need to stay inspired, right?!
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
“Psi Bands (pronounced "Sigh Bands") are acupressure wrist bands for the relief of nausea due to morning sickness (pregnancy), motion sickness/ travel, chemotherapy, and anesthesia. Unlike any product on the market, Psi Bands are: Drug-free, Adjustable, Comfortable, Fashionable, Waterproof, Reusable, and Affordable. FDA-cleared Psi Bands are a stylish alternative for those who suffer from nausea."
Fertile Hope received samples in advance of an introductory call we were scheduled to have with the founders, so we happened to have a few sets laying around the office one morning when I was green. I tried them on and, voila, they worked like magic! I was in love – and so is the media. They’ve been featured in FitPregnancy, SELF, O, The Oprah Magazine and more! Even better, $1/band from the sale of the Cherry Blossom band is donated to Fertile Hope. Watch ShopNBC tomorrow, Wednesday, February 11, at 2 AM, 7 AM, or 4 PM (CST) for a great deal – or buy them anytime at drugstore.com.
Ever tried them? Tell us what you think…
Monday, February 9, 2009
Breast cancer patients and survivors (and the healthcare professionals who treat you), please tell us what you think...
What does this mean for you or your patients? Any success stories to share?
Friday, February 6, 2009
- How many eggs do I need to freeze to have a baby?
- Which egg freezing technique should I use – slow freezing or fast freezing (vitrification)?
- Will my baby be healthy?
The trial is only as good as the number of people who participate – the more the better. Participating is a cinch. You don’t have to do anything. Your reproductive doctor just signs you up and then anonymously shares your data with the trial. So, if you or anyone you know is using their frozen eggs, ask your fertility doctor to sign you up. What do you think – would you participate?
Do you worry about a risk of cancer from fertility drugs?
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I called my hero to ask her – how do you do it? My hero happens to be the woman who saved my life (twice!), Dr. Nancy Snyderman, and as if that’s not enough to make a superhero, she always seemed to have it all – and it all under control. I wanted - no needed - her secret!
I told her that I was struggling to balance work, motherhood, friendship, romance, travel, and everything else on my to-do list. I fought so hard for this life, but now I am struggling to keep up with it. Her secret shocked me. “Forget balance!” she said. If balance is the goal you will constantly fail. Give it up. You can't be great at everything everyday. But, she said, you can have it all!
Do you agree? What’s more important to you - balance or having it all? Do you feel like you have either?
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
What changed? A lot. My job is to do what is best for our users. Patients and survivors keep telling us that they want more information, more customization, more, more, more. They want it easier, faster and all for free. We used to be able to meet these needs through big corporate grants, but the landscape of fundraising is changing and those grants are not as easy to come by. So, we had to get creative. Can we tie meeting a patient need with a diversified, sustainable revenue stream?
We checked out the market to see how others do it. What is WebMD’s revenue model? Ad sales. BabyCenter? Ad sales. What do you think? Take our poll. Does this take away from the credibility of the information we provide? Would you rather have no ads and no information or ads and the information and tools you need? Would you rather pay for the information yourself? While we wait to hear the verdict – please buy your ads!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I used to meet with the leaders of large cancer centers around the country and hear the same thing, time and time again - patients don’t think fertility is important; more complete informed consent isn't necessary (e.g., it was ok to sterilize patients without their full knowledge!), etc. Really they were saying that it shouldn’t be discussed with everyone (as shown in studies, this generally meant poor patients, gay patients or very sick patients).
Now, a few short years later, these subjective judgments are being challenged - one of the biggest cancer centers in the world is promoting improved cancer-related fertility care as the reason to get treated there. Wow! We’ve come a long way. . .
p.s. The woman featured in the ad is a cervical cancer survivor who underwent a fertility-sparing surgery at MSKCC. We salute Fertile Hope’s Medical Advisory Board member, Dr. Yukio Sonoda, who worked along with Dr. Nadeem Abu-Rustum to help bring this procedure to the US from France and make it available to MSKCC patients.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
“I'm supposed to be the queen of maternity chic, and here I am about to have a hysterectomy... I do think I wanted more children, or at least I didn’t want the decision to be made for me.”
Thursday, January 29, 2009
- 1. A Free Wine Tasting Kit
We send you a free wine tasting kit with everything you need to host the event including wine glasses, bottle openers, scorecards, wine sleeves, and more!
2. A Good Excuse to Get Together with Friends
You can host your event anywhere (home, office, art gallery, country club, etc.) at anytime by simply doing what you already do – drinking wine with your friends. For a $25 tasting fee, less than a typical night out, your guests have the perfect reason to get together.
3. Stress-Free Planning
From invitations to reminders to RSVPs, our online system does all of that work for you. All you have to do is pick up some wine (or ask your guests to bring their favorite bottle!) and host your party.
4. Receive Fantastic Gifts
Hosts and their guests receive fantastic guest goodies, including Uncorked, a wine tasting guide by Women & Wine® and Sofitel®, and a one-year subscription to your choice of Cookie, Glamour, Gourmet, GQ or SELF magazine (a $12 value).
5. Change the Course of Someone’s Life
Not only will you raise awareness and provide life changing information about parenthood after cancer to your peers, but your support will allow Fertile Hope to empower cancer patients with the information they need to turn their parenthood after cancer dreams into reality!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
"The media should not make this into heroic case. This is anything but a heroic case. This is very bad medicine."
What is your take on stories like this?
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
What do you think of the news that the first baby to have been screened before conception for a genetic form of breast cancer has been born in Britain? Many articles report that women who carry this gene have an 80% chance of developing breast cancer and a 60% chance of developing ovarian cancer during their lifetime. However, carrying the gene does not make cancer inevitable, which makes use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) in this way a topic of great bioethical debate. Personally, I must admit that I am a big fan of PGD. My daughter, Paisley, is a PGD baby. The technology allowed my husband and I screen for a genetic abnormality that would cause severe birth defects and mental retardation. If your cancer had a gene, would you use PGD to screen for it and try to avoid passing it along?