At the age of 25, Lisa Flaherty did not think she would have to start thinking about her fertility, but when she received a cancer diagnosis, that changed.

lisa flaherty

In 2023, Lisa was diagnosed with stage 4 classical nodular sclerosing Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a subtype of classical Hodgkins lymphoma and an advanced cancer affecting the lymphatic system. As an employee of The Valley Hospital Fertility Center herself, the Suffern, New York native emailed a coworker about her preservation options before even meeting with her oncologist to discuss a treatment plan.

“My coworker Alyssa made the process of transitioning from an employee to a patient worry-free, and she could not have made it easier for me,” the now 26-year-old said. “I knew this was something I wanted to do before starting chemotherapy, even though doctors say chemotherapy does not always affect fertility. I did not want cancer to dictate if I would be able to become a mom or not.” 

Within three days of contacting the Center, Lisa had a consultation and began the medication needed for egg freezing to preserve her eggs (oocytes) before undergoing chemotherapy. 

Egg freezing, also known as egg harvesting, begins with stimulating the ovaries with fertility medications so multiple eggs mature during a single cycle. The egg retrieval process is performed under anesthesia where the patient is asleep and breathing on her own. The eggs are then evaluated by an embryologist and mature eggs are frozen and preserved in liquid nitrogen. The frozen eggs are stored until the patient wishes to become pregnant, at which time they can be thawed, fertilized, and incubated for transfer.

After seven monitoring appointments and many medication injections, Lisa had her egg retrieval on March 20, 2023. “Throughout the whole monitoring process, the doctors and nurses monitor your bloodwork and give you clear instructions. The nurses and staff would always check on me with how I was handling the process and my situation,” said Lisa. “The billing team also provided a breakdown of my insurance benefits, so I was clear on what I was responsible for from day one.”

Dehan Chen, MD, was my provider, but the doctors rotate during monitoring (bloodwork and ultrasound) appointments, so I really felt like the whole office was a part of my treatment. Dr. Chen was amazing throughout my diagnosis and treatment and answered all the questions I had for him,” said Lisa. 

Ali Nasseri, MD, Medical Director of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility for Valley Medical Group, performed my retrieval. I did not feel any pain or discomfort after this procedure. He also made sure to come check on me after I woke up from anesthesia to make sure I was feeling good. I also got to see Keri Greenseid, MD, for some monitoring appointments.”

The team was able to retrieve eight eggs and have them frozen. “My now fiancé and I were very happy with these results, knowing this will give us a chance to have a family in the future,” said Lisa.

“Something that makes The Valley Hospital Fertility Center stand out is that there are staff in the office who have gone through their own fertility journey, not just me. This adds an extra level of understanding and compassion, which our team is known for, and that all patients will receive,” said Lisa. “I am forever grateful for the entire staff that helped me with my journey.”

Lisa underwent six months of chemotherapy every other week and has been in remission since October 9, 2023. 

For more information about The Valley Hospital Fertility Center, please visit