I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma at the age of 24 and initially felt very lost. I remembered being transferred from the ER to a hospital room where the oncologist came in and introduced herself. It was my first time meeting her, and in that very meeting, she told me that I would start chemo immediately.
After 6 months of chemo treatments, the cancer took a turn for the worst. I was diagnosed with High Grade Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and was told I'd be on an even stronger chemo regimen followed by a bone marrow transplant. That forced me to take a long break from work with even more hospital fees adding up. At 24 years old, I had no "real" savings and it had only been less than a year since I started my first "big girl" job out of college. I tried to stay positive by telling myself that I'm still beyond lucky to be alive, but I couldn't help but have deep regrets for not freezing my eggs before treatment. The "what ifs" and "if onlys" began accumulating in my mind. "If only I could discover the cancer earlier." "What if I could have done my research and been prepared?" "What if I had other options?"
It was truly a miracle that after 11 months, my body began to cycle again. Despite this, I can't help but feel like there's now a timer on me since 80% of chemotherapy patients experience premature menopause. My days of being able to start a family are numbered and egg freezing is the only way to assure that I can achieve that dream in the future. It would mean so much to me to receive this grant and to help fund my embryo freezing journey with my partner that supported me throughout my cancer treatment.