Q+A w/ Founder, Amanda Rice
Amanda Rice, a three time cancer survivor, founded Chick Mission to help women with cancer finance and understand fertility preservation after her own insurance claims were denied. The Chick Mission will not accept the status quo of health insurance companies refusing to cover fertility preservation for cancer patients. The organization strives to give any woman a choice regarding her future family before lifesaving treatment makes decisions for her. When she is not working on Chick Mission, Amanda is the Director of Investor Relations and Business Development for Maltese Capital Management.
Read on to learn about a huge win Chick Mission recently had, and why Amanda hopes the organization will be obsolete in five years.
by CHLOE. X Robyn X Kindbody have joined forces this May to make sure no one feels left out on Mother’s Day. If you want to hear more from Amanda and other like-minded women, tune into our Instagram check out our calendar of (free) events for Beyond Mother’s Day.
by CHLOE.: Hi Amanda! Thanks for chatting with us. Please introduce yourself.
Amanda Rice: Hi I’m Amanda Rice, native New Yorker, finance professional, world traveler, and recent non-profit Founder and CEO.
bC: Please share more about Chick Mission; why you founded it, and the organization’s goals and vision?
AR: Organized and launched in late 2017, the Chick Mission was established to educate young women who are diagnosed with cancer about their fertility options. Fertility preservation is crucial for this population, as most of the common treatment plans can threaten a woman’s fertility and ability to have a biological child after treatment. After about six months of fundraising, we started providing “Hope Scholarships” to help cover the cost of fertility preservation. Often times, insurance companies deem this procedure to be “elective”, and therefore deny coverage, but we beg to differ. Many of the treatment protocols involve chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and/or long-term drug therapy and can lead to a high risk of infertility.
Our initial goal for the mission was to educate young adults about their fertility risks/options and to provide need-based scholarships. As it stands today, we will continue doing what we are doing, but our long-term vision is to help change the laws to mandate that insurance companies cover the cost of preservation for these patients.
bC: Please educate our readers on the impact cancer can have on fertility.
AR: Cancer treatment can have an incredibly detrimental impact on one’s fertility. Given that women are born with all of the eggs they will ever produce, systemic treatment with high risk chemotherapy drugs can impact the quality of these eggs. Those who need surgery and/or radiation to their reproductive organs are also negatively impacted. Finally, as my own experience taught me, being diagnosed with estrogen and progesterone positive breast cancer at age 37, the standard of care is to take Tamoxifen for 10 years. This drug is pregnancy category X (which means you cannot get pregnant while taking it). Given my low AMH and FSH levels, starting a family at age 47 was not the optimal choice for me.
bC: Chick Mission (and New York residents) recently had a huge win! New York passed legislation that will require insurance companies to provide medically necessary fertility preservation coverage. What are some of the steps Chick Mission took to help get this law passed?
AR: We are elated with the recent news out of Albany. There are some phenomenal people and organizations that have focused their efforts and resources to make this legislation a reality. The Alliance for Fertility Preservation and Resolve are two of the stand out organizations who led the charge. My co-founder and fellow survivor, Tracy Weiss, and I attended the NY Advocacy Day back in February and took that wonderful opportunity to share our stories with our Senators and Assembly people to help recruit some additional support. It was an incredibly inspiring day as we felt our voices (and the voices of the women we are helping) were being heard. We rallied our supporters and followers to write letters, make calls and help make supporting this legislation a priority for their local representatives.
bC: What does the Beyond Mother’s Day campaign mean to you and your work?
AR: This campaign is incredibly important to us as we fight on behalf of potential future mother’s dealing with a cancer diagnosis. We want them to know that we support them and value their reproduction. We also want to provide hope at a very challenging time, and to make sure they have every resource available to them to lead a full life after treatment (including motherhood).
bC: What are some ways our readers can support Chick Mission?
AR: First and foremost, we would love your readers to help spread the word about the risks that cancer treatment may have on your fertility. Given the cost barrier, not all physicians will inform patients of their options before it is too late. You have a short window from diagnosis to the start of treatment, and your fertility preservation is a very important topic to address. Secondly, we would encourage your readers to attend one of our educational events or fundraisers. We have hosted a number of different events this past year; from a Gala in September to a SoulCycle fundraiser ride, panels at various fortune 500 companies and smaller educational events. We have a ladies only event at Ladurée coming up on May 21st and our main event that will take place at Union West in New York on September 26th.
bC: Where do you hope to see Chick Mission in the next five years?
AR: Since our launch in 2017, six states have passed legislation mandating insurance companies cover fertility preservation for cancer patients (CT, RI, MD, DE, IL and NY). By 2024, we would like to see significant progress in that number. To be honest, we would love it if Chick Mission was put out of business. Being obsolete is our goal!
Favorite place on Earth? It’s impossible for me to choose one place, but my favorite place that I’ve been to recently, was Patagonia.
Pet Peeve? Complaining, without a solution.
Secret superhero power? Making the word no, magically turn into yes.
3 objects you can’t live without? Iced coffee, live music and my carryon suitcase.
Whatcha readin’? A Higher Loyalty. by James Comey
Dream dinner guest? RBG.
Current fave podcast? How I Built This.