Bridging The Fertility Preservation Gap After Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Diagnosis

Molly and Zach had been married just over a year when one night, Molly felt sharp pain in her chest and abdomen. Doctors initially thought that Molly had passed a gallstone, but because she was complaining of chest pain, they did a CT scan to be safe. Her doctor discovered a small mass and they were transferred to a larger facility where scans proved she had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma stage 2B. “We were devastated, scared, confused, and even a little angry. God truly showed me His grace during this time. I felt like I had no control.”

“Because of my age, and because Zach and I hadn’t started our family yet, doctors and nurses all recommended fertility preservation.” The cost of fertility preservation was prohibitive and they had no idea where to start or what to do.  As a young married couple, they didn’t have large amounts of money stored away, especially for something like this. Molly and Zach shared with family and friends what was going on, and Dana, a close family friend, told her about Rutledge Cancer Foundation.

Dana had seen Laura Rutledge and Carolyn Roberts at a Texas Tri Delta gathering the night before, where they told her about their work to help young adults with cancer. It was then that Dana learned about the need for fertility preservation before starting toxic cancer treatment. Two days later, Dana contacted Carolyn and asked if RCF could help. “Yes!”, she answered, “Have her contact Stephanie Lawrence at Moncrief Cancer Institute. She is wonderful and will be able to direct Molly.”

Within 24 hours, thanks to Stephanie, the willingness of our fertility physicians to answer calls 7 days a week and the greatly reduced cost, Molly had started the process to preserve her ability to have children.  “Zach and I were overwhelmed and so grateful for Stephanie and the foundation.”, Molly said, “The amount of stress and worry that was lifted is completely indescribable.”

Molly finished a rough six months of chemotherapy this summer and received a clear PET scan shortly after. She is currently undergoing proton therapy and hopefully will be finished with treatment soon. “I am so grateful for everyone who has helped me during this process.” shared Molly, “Stephanie and Rutledge Cancer Foundation allowed me the peace of mind knowing that when we were ready to have a family, they would be there, and I am eternally grateful for that.”