Lauren, Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivor
I wasn’t sure if I would live to celebrate my 24th birthday. When I was told you have cancer, all I remember thinking was, I don’t want to die. I have so much life to live. I collapsed in my mother’s arms. My life was changed forever.
I went through six months of chemotherapy — I lost my hair and my heart. This was a tremendous life hurdle. I was in remission for six months and trained for my first half marathon while fundraising for cancer research.
As I crossed the finish line of the race, I was at the starting line for round two of my battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I had time to freeze my eggs in case I became infertile after treatment.
Twenty-four eggs were collected and put in storage. Twenty-four potential future children that chemo could have taken away. Modern medicine and science gave me the opportunity to have a family with my own eggs one day. While I was struggling with so much, having the logical, rational world of science help me through such an incredibly difficult period was invaluable.
More intense treatment was needed to hopefully save my life — chemo, radiation, high dose chemo and a stem cell transplant. I was in isolation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for nearly six weeks.
Exercise and healthy living became non-negotiable in my life. I slowly regained my strength. I ran two marathons and 13 half marathons while fundraising for cancer research. Full circle, I now teach fitness for Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Integrative Medicine program.
I am continually reminded of the resiliency of our bodies and the power of a positive mindset. My gratitude for life deepens with each of these blessings.
I met and married my husband. After conceiving naturally and experiencing an ectopic pregnancy – we conceived identical twins naturally. My boys are now nearly three years old!
Through these life hurdles—the cancer treatment, egg freezing, and fertility struggles—I am continually reminded of the resiliency of our bodies and the power of a positive mindset. My gratitude for life deepens with each of these blessings.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”- Helen Keller.