Bill signed to preserve parenthood for cancer patients

Governor Hogan signs legislation into law
Posted at 9:39 PM, May 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 21:40:25-04

It was 6 years ago when Amanda Kesler became concerned about swelling on one side of her neck.

"I did what any millennial would do. I went into the bathroom and took a selfie of my neck put it on Facebook and said nurse friends help, what is going on." 

While her social media friends tried to help, it wasn't until two months later that Amanda got a diagnosis.

"I was 22 when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkins," said Kesler, "I was afraid, my mom and I were so afraid."

Amanda would become part of a clinical trial going through twelve rounds of chemo. Her treatment started right away, not giving her a lot of time to think about all of the unknowns.

But she did have one big concern, would this affect fertility?

"In the back of my mind, I wasn't thinking about having kids. I was thinking about surviving and fighting. But I was like hold on what about reproduction? What's going to happen down there? What's going to happen to my body? He said you should be ok." 

"When you receive a cancer diagnosis you have a short period of time to make your decision on what your treatments going to be," said Brock Yetso, President of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

Yetso has been on the front lines fighting to get a bill passed in Maryland to preserve parenthood for cancer patients.

"So many young people face treatments well hopefully where we are in this day in age save their lives, but often times those treatments can age their eggs or render them infertile and so this bill will require insurance companies to cover the financial investment that these patients up until now have had to pay out of their own pockets."

Amanda remembers looking into the cost knowing it would never be an option.

"Then I looked at the prices of it,  there's no way I could have afforded. Even on my best day, even on the greatest paycheck day."

And the thought of that still hurts six years later.

"It just wouldn't be apart of my financial plan and to have that taken from me because of my financial status or income, it hurts, it sucks, but on the other hand, I do feel there's a purpose. There's a reason for everything, to think there's not going to be another 22-year-old who goes through this, that they're going to be allowed to simply focus on fighting and surviving and not that burden of a dollar sign. Its pretty awesome."