Fertility Hope in the Face of Cancer with Alice Crisci
MedAnswers with Alice Crisci
Today’s episode is full of hope and maybe even some perspective changers for some of you, especially when it comes to what you can handle at once. Our guest today is Alice Crisci. She is an author, fertility preservation spokeswoman and social entrepreneur, and most importantly, a mother on a mission. Her story is incredible. I talk with Alice about the non-profit she founded, Fertile Action, for fertile women touched by cancer, along with her new app MedAnswers, that seeks to connect patients experiencing fertility challenges, oncology issues, or even genetic questions with industry vetted experts.
Within weeks of her own breast cancer diagnosis, Alice harvested her eggs to protect her opportunity to become a mom after surviving cancer, had a nude photography session, launched Fertile Action and published her first book, Too Young for This. She is a game changer in legislation and technology, and an inspiration for women looking for expert education, support, and courage.
[3:43] Within a few weeks of her diagnosis, Alice learned about the scariest potential side effect of breast cancer and it’s treatment: infertility. Egg freezing was still considered experimental, and she needed more insurance than just a 2-3% chance. She then realized embryo freezing was a better way to go, and continued down her path to single motherhood and faced with the tough decision of picking a donor, all while dealing with the severity of her current diagnosis.
[9:59] When picking a potential donor, Alice encourages women to be truthful with who they are, and who they see themselves with. Be specific and rule out any health history concerns that matter to you. Alice picked a donor that spoke to her and matched her own internal values, as it was important that her child know the story of both sides having grit and tenacity.
[17:44] Alice is on a private Facebook group with other families that used the same donor that she used for her son, and she calls them his ‘diblings.’ They share anecdotes and stay connected.
[18:20] Due to all the genetic testing that is available, open donorship has become way more prevalent and necessary.
[21:43] Alice developed her non-profit Fertile Action as a way to take on insurance coverage and a fee reduction for women who found themselves in fertility preservation cases. She created a network of discounted fees for cancer patients and found it required a large amount of effort and resources.
[24:39] Alice gives recognition to the legislators who also helped take Fertile Action and their partnered organizations as their cause.
[27:03] Alice has now turned a major part of her attention and focus on the app MedAnswers. This helps to connect those struggling to conceive with seven different types of fertility experts. Digital tools are critical, especially when facing a health crisis and MedAnswers is a way for women to connect with experts while maintaining anonymity.
[33:46] Both Alice and I are big proponents of empowering people with data about their own bodies, and not waiting until it is too late to have information.
[35:49] Alice brings up a very interesting point about sex education benefiting from being more about reproductive health than the current topics of just pregnancy prevention.
[36:08] Alice created a webinar just for Californians when it comes to insurance and the appeals process.
References and links to take you further:
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You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.