Corinne's Law: Oncofertility Preservation Patient Communication & Coverage in Oklahoma

Corinne's Law: Oncofertility Preservation Patient Communication & Coverage in Oklahoma

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Carly Kirkland started this petition to Oklahoma Legislature and

My name is Carly Kirkland, and I am currently a second-year law student at the University of Oklahoma. This past year, I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. After eight months of treatment at MD Anderson, I am now cancer-free.

When I was initially diagnosed, a friend of a friend, Corinne Dinges, quickly reached out. Though she was five years my senior, we had mutual friends from our time at OU. Corinne was in her OB/GYN residency when she was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, another rare form of bone cancer similar to osteosarcoma. Corinne encouraged me to consider fertility preservation options, as chemotherapy and radiation often render women infertile after treatment. I would have never considered this procedure without Corinne's direction and advice, and it provided me with immense peace. While my other dreams seemed to hang in uncertain limbo, my ability to have a family was promised-- all thanks to Corinne's guidance. Corinne tragically passed last month from Leukemia resulting from the residual effects of her Ewing's Sarcoma treatment. One of her passions was advocating for and informing female cancer patients about their fertility options prior to receiving treatment. 
 
While I was able to preserve my fertility, my oncologist gave me ten days to do so. These ten days were not enough time to negotiate insurance coverage for my egg preservation. I feel incredibly grateful that I was still able to have the procedure. However, for many other recently diagnosed cancer patients, this is not the case, as the out-of-pocket costs are, as you can imagine, quite expensive. Insurance traditionally does not cover standard fertility treatment. Some states have regulations differentiating standard fertility treatment from emergency oncofertility treatment, and many of these states require coverage for the latter. Oklahoma, however, does not. Therefore, fertility preservation is inaccessible to many recently diagnosed cancer patients in our state. 
 
When faced with a choice between one's life or fertility, the choice is obvious. But I believe no one should ever have to make this choice in the first place. I am petitioning to enact legislation requiring Oklahoma insurance companies to require oncofertility preservation. They currently cover many other side effects of cancer, ranging from wigs to nausea medicine. Oncofertility preservation should be included in these provisions to support Oklahoma cancer patients. Below is some some additional information about Corinne-- there would be no more fitting way to honor her legacy. 

Corinne's Obituary

Cancer Patient Takes Steps to Preserve Her Fertility Options

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