By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ)–  Maryland lawmakers have voted to require insurance companies to cover fertility protection for cancer patients.

Cancer and fertility too many times one cancels out the other.

Like many young women who undergo surgery for cervical cancer, Tamika Felder had a host of concerns.

“You have to make this big decision about what kind of surgery you’ll have and then if you have treatment then what type of treatment you’ll have,” Felder said, who’s a cancer survivor. “Will you do it, won’t you do it. How will it impact your quality of life. And then on top of everything you’re dealing with while still trying to maintain some normalcy in your life, what about becoming a parent?”

Fertility procedures were not covered by her insurance and too expensive for her to pay. Now a bill passed by the General Assembly requires insurance companies to provide coverage for cancer patients to preserve their fertility.

“One of the things that has emotionally hurt me out of this is that when I think about it, my fertility was not preserved because it came down to money,” Felder said.

The bill passed this week and was spearheaded by the the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

“We would have like to have it happen many years ago, there’s been a lot of cancer patients who have gotten great treatment and survived their cancer and unfortunately so it’s never soon enough but now’s a great time to change that,” said Brock Yetso of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

The bill is on its way to the governor.

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