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Egg Freezing Options

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When Daniella Gallaro found out she had breast cancer four months ago, the 27-year-old worried if treatment would affect her chances of becoming a mom. "They let me know if was a real possibility that I could become infertile."

Freezing her eggs before chemotherapy would cost thousands of dollars. As a young social worker, she couldn't afford the massive price tag. "I had basically given up at that point, I was really crushed and it felt really unfair to me because you know the diagnosis in and of itself was hard enough."

For decades egg freezing has been considered experimental and insurance does not cover the costs. Doctors hope that's about to change. This week the American Society for Reproductive Medicine announced that the experimental label should be lifted off egg freezing. Dr. Drew Tortoriello is with the Sher Institute. "This is something which is doable and the really impediment is not the technology any more, I think it's the actual, unfortunate lack of insurance coverage for many people who want to get this done but can't get it done."

Fortunately Daniella finally did get it done thanks to a program through the Sher Institute which freezes eggs at no cost for cancer patients. "So far we've helped somewhere in the range of 70 to 80 women," says Dr. Tortoriello.

Daniella now has 22 eggs to use when she's ready to start a family. "It's really some piece of mind that I may be able to have my own children some day."

She's halfway through her chemo treatment and hopes more cancer patients have the same opportunity she did.

Written By Wendy Damonte
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