Episode 21: Oncofertility: The Hope Fertility Preservation Can Bring
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in light of this, we are dedicating four episodes to oncofertility – the bridge between oncology and reproductive research that explores and expands options for the reproductive future of cancer survivors.
In the third episode of the four-part series, we hear the story of Megan Connolly, a college student whose entire world stopped when she discovered she had cancer. Megan was only 19 when she began her battle against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Cancer threatened not only her life, but her lifelong dream of becoming a mother.
We’ll hear how Megan beat cancer (twice!) and with the help of patient navigator Kristin Smith of the Oncofertility Consortium, was able to freeze her eggs. Fertility preservation offered Megan a sense of control over her life and allowed her to focus on the future of her life after cancer.
Guest: Megan Connolly, Project Coordinator at Northwestern University
Experts: Dr. Jennifer Levine, Weill Cornell Medicine and Alliance for Fertility Preservation, and Janet Choi, CCRM New York
Host: Lissa Kline, VP of Provider and Member Services at Progyny
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Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lissa manages and oversees Progyny’s Patient Care Advocates. Prior to joining Progyny, she worked at Columbia University Medical Center in the division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Involved in Patient Services and the Donor Egg Program, she loved working with patients while they underwent fertility treatment. Lissa graduated with a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.
Megan is a two-time cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 19 years old. After receiving six months of chemotherapy she was in remission and was able to return to college. However, after eight months in remission she had a relapse. Megan’s treatment for her relapse was an intensive, aggressive and grueling treatment plan. She endured chemotherapy, total body radiation, and an autologous stem cell transplant. She has been cancer free for seven wonderful years!
Dr. Jennifer Levine was a Principal Investigator on a study through the children’s oncology group evaluating ovarian reserve in adolescents diagnosed with lymphoma. Levine completed her residency at Yale New Haven Hospital and her fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center/MSCHONY.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University with an A.B. in English literature, Dr. Choi earned her medical degree from Columbia University. She remained at Columbia for her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Subsequently, she completed her sub-specialty fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. Prior to joining CCRM New York, she was on faculty at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center where she was the director of oncofertility/fertility preservation.
Music From This Episode:
Track: I am the Coyote
Artist: Lee Rosevere
Track: Maximum Relax
Artist: Osiris Saline
Track: Salvador Darling Instrumental
Artist: Kai Engel
Track: Brand New World
Track: Global Warming
Track: Golden Sphere
Artist: Philipp Weigl
Track: Western Shores
Artist: Cairo Braga
Track: Madrugada Solitria
Track: Dawn II
Artist: Steve Combs
Track: A Vital Piece of Music for All Your Soundtrack Needs
Artist: Loyalty Freak Music
Track: I care