As an egg bank, we understand that there is no shortage of reasons for women to freeze their eggs. Life can be unpredictable, and every woman’s journey is different. Lindsay Warner, a writer for Harper Bazaar, shared her deeply personal experience that led to her freezing her eggs, and we thought her story would resonate with our egg bank’s readers.
Warner was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36. Not surprisingly, the last thing on her mind at the time was family planning. A lumpectomy revealed some cancer and then a second surgery revealed even worse news. The cancer had spread to a lymph node. This showed the doctors that the cancer was on the move. Treatment plans escalated to radiation, a decade of endocrine therapy – and chemotherapy treatments. Trying to process all this information was difficult enough, but then Warner was asked if she wanted to delay her cancer treatments to preserve her fertility by freezing her eggs or embryos.
If Warner chose this option, she would have to start the process immediately.
What happened to Warner is extremely rare. For starters, the American Cancer Society states that less than five percent of women who are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer are under the age of 40. As an outlier, Warner was given the chance to get asked a life changing question. “Would you like to freeze your eggs?” This is an incredible burden as both Warner and her boyfriend had to decide whether they wanted to eventually become parents in less than a week.
As an egg bank, we understand that this type of decision isn’t easy for any woman. The idea of freezing eggs is still quite foreign to many. However, we believe that freezing eggs or embryos is an option that can offer a miracle to couples in need. Warner and her boyfriend resolved to freeze Warner’s eggs and embryos. As she is currently in the middle of her cancer treatments, the frozen embryos now represent hope for the future. While decades ago, the cancer would have robbed Warner and her boyfriend of the ability to ever consider children in the future; IVF treatments now offer a chance to grow a family.
Warner’s case of being diagnosed with cancer may be rare, but it’s a good example of what the egg freezing option provides couples in need. Egg banks and egg donors offer hope. Those who can take advantage of this hope can be blessed with a happy and healthy family, which is something to be thankful for this holiday season.