Gina’s Story Overcoming Cancer

Gina at 19 September 1994

Gina at 19 September 1994

When Gina was diagnosed with cancer at 19, her life was turned upside down.  In the span of one week, her life went from college classes, papers, and midterms, to a world of oncologists, diagnostic tests, and an impending surgery. Her prognosis was grim.  She was told she would be fighting for her life and IF she survived it was unlikely she would be able have children.

While this may have stopped many people, it actually fueled her.  Gina beat the odds.  Her surgery was a success.  The cancer had not spread and she required no additional treatment beyond quarterly scans and blood tests.

Gina and Pete December 2002

Gina and Pete December 2002

She went onto graduate from college on time, earn an International MBA and live in Munich, Germany working for BMW.  Upon returning to the States, she moved to San Francisco (where she met and married Pete) to join a start-up internet company.  After she and the founders sold the company to Warburg Pincus, she launched her consulting career where she developed successful growth strategies for multinational corporations and executive teams.  One of which, repositioned a company from number six into the world to number two.

Gina and Samantha June 2010

Gina and Samantha June 2010

While her career took off, Gina faced two more cancer scares and surgeries.  Prior to her last surgery, her oncologist recommended she take measures to preserve her fertility.  With her life on the line, it was difficult to think about having a child.  It was a gut wrenching choice, yet Gina choose to delay cancer treatment long enough to preserve her fertility.   That choice enabled her to have an amazing daughter, Samantha Grace, several years later.

Gina is passionate about helping others facing cancer learn about options to preserve their fertility.  “Every time I look at my daughter, I realize how blessed I am.  I want

Samantha and a 'friend' Spring 2016

Samantha and a ‘friend’ Spring 2016

every cancer patient to know they have choices about having a child and ensure they have the information to make the right choice for them.”  She continues, “While my path has been challenging, I wouldn’t change a single thing.  It revealed strength, drive and courage that I didn’t know I had.  Moreover, it’s given me incredible insights into people, life and business – which I use every single day.”

Gina has spoken to a variety of media outlets to build awareness around fertility preservation for cancer patients.   For more on Gina’s story, please visit any of the sites below:

PBS Newshour:  “Cancer and Infertility Dodging the Double Blow”
Huffington Post:  “Young Cancer Patients Rarely Get Help, Information on Fertility Issues”
UCSF: “Cancer Doesn’t Mean Sacrificing Your Desire to Be a Mother”