AUSTIN, Texas – July 7, 2016 – Livestrong Fertility is dedicated to providing reproductive information, resources and financial support to survivors whose cancer and its treatment present risks to their fertility. Livestrong's program has now saved more than 7,000 young adult cancer survivors like Sarah and Eric $30 million in fertility preservation costs.
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.
"Nobody should lose their ability to plan for a family due to a cancer diagnosis or its lasting effects. Through Livestrong Fertility, we hope to make fertility preservation available to any and all survivors who want the option, regardless of financial means or location," said Livestrong Director of Mission Delivery Rebekkah Schear. "We extend our gratitude to our key partner at EMD Serono for their unwavering commitment to supporting cancer survivors every day. Without their generous support, this program would not be possible."
Formerly known as Fertile Hope, for 12 years Livestrong Fertility has educated survivors and healthcare providers about the impact of cancer treatment on fertility. The program provides free medication and access to discounted fertility preservation services in partnership with more than 450 clinics across the country. Options both online and over the phone for survivors in need cover fertility risks, family building options, fertility resources guides and one-on-one support with navigators.
Each year, the program has continued to grow as the number of cancer survivors in the country has increased. Last year, Livestrong Fertility served 1,348 men and women save $6.3 million. In 2016, 647 survivors had already saved $3.5 million just through May.
"Livestrong helped me find a facility in my town, manage costs and preserve my fertility," testicular cancer survivor Eric S. said. "I was 28 when I was diagnosed. My world was spinning. The furthest thing from my mind was having a family. I was focused on the present; Livestrong was thinking of my future."
The continued growth of the program demonstrates the growing need for fertility information and access to affordable fertility preservation services for cancer survivors. To learn more about Livestrong Fertility or to apply for the Livestrong Fertility Discount Program, please visit www.livestrong.org/fertility.
About the Livestrong Foundation
The Livestrong Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. For 19 years, Livestrong has been a voice for cancer survivors and has directly served more than 3.5 million people. A pioneer in the field of survivorship, Livestrong remains a world leader in providing direct services to cancer patients and survivors, advocating for policies that enhance survivors' quality of life and developing partnerships that create access to cancer programs across the country. Since 2007, the Livestrong at the YMCA program has made a return to fitness and well-being possible for more than 38,000 survivors in more than 500 YMCA locations. Working with The University of Texas' Dell Medical School, Livestrong is building the Livestrong Cancer Institutes to reinvent and redesign cancer care for and with people affected by cancer.