DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A local clinic is giving cancer survivors the gift of family.
Dana Pate never imagined she would be sitting in an Oncologist’s office waiting to hear that she could never have kids.
Married for three-and-a-half years, she has though often about having a family.
“We both wanted a family I think he was a little more anxious to have kids than I was,” says Pate.
Last year the couple had to put their plans on hold. Pate, 30, from Allen was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
“I felt perfectly fine. I thought I was healthy just one day I noticed I had lump on my neck that kept getting bigger. I went to my doctor a month later they ran some tests and found out I had cancer,” explains Pate.
Her doctors told her after her treatment ended she would be infertile. “It’s a lot to process finding out one week that you have cancer the next that you might not have kids,” says Pate.
Pate did have one option and that was to freeze her eggs before treatment. She turned to the Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine in Dallas.
“After chemo the eggs are fried,” explains Dr. Walid Saleh who is the Medical Director of the fertility clinic “We are seeing a lot of younger women that are being diagnosed young enough that they can still freeze and preserve their fertility.”
The fertility clinic is now offering to freeze the eggs of women with cancer for free. It’s a procedure that normally costs $10,000.
Known as the Fertility Rescue Program the eggs will be frozen and stored. Once the patient is cancer free, they’ll be thawed, fertilized and transferred through In Vito Fertilization.
“It’s not a loss to me it’s just time I have a lot of time that’s all I do all day,” says Dr. Saleh “There is something in it for us that is the satisfaction of seeing someone happy and not destroyed by a disease.”
Dr. Saleh says there is no catch but the patient does have to pay for injections and genetic testing which usually runs another $5,000 to $6,000.
He hopes to work with pharmacies and genetic labs to cut costs even more. “This was pretty much my only option if I wanted to have kids,” says Pate.
Dr. Saleh harvested four eggs from Pate and says she has a 65% chance of getting pregnant once she’s in remission. She has to wait at least 2 years after her treatments.
For more information on the program, click here.