The Chicks Behind The Mission
What does one do when diagnosed with cancer for the *THIRD* time before their 40th birthday?
If you are our founder, Amanda Rice, you channel your frustration with reproductive health insurance coverage for cancer patients (or lack thereof) into a nonprofit.
Into a Movement.
Into the Chick Mission.
The Chick Mission idea "hatched" when Amanda's fertility preservation coverage was denied by her insurance company. Staring down a long road of chemo, radiation and long-term drug therapy, Amanda understood the high likelihood of infertility after her treatment and decided to move forward covering the costs on her own. The idea of other patients choosing not to pursue preservation simply because of the cost barrier did not sit well - socioeconomic standing should not dictate whether anyone has an opportunity to have biological children after they battle and beat cancer. Wouldn’t it be incredible if every single young female cancer patient had the option to preserve her fertility ahead of lifesaving treatment? As a woman who has spent over a decade raising money for a living, Amanda utilized that skill set to help get The Chick Mission off the ground. She jumped down the rabbit hole of necessary paperwork to incorporate and the rest is history.
It is our goal to start educational conversations bringing this issue into the lexicon of the many, advocate on behalf of those who live in states without specific legislation mandating insurance companies cover fertility preservation in these cases and to assist newly diagnosed patients with need based grants to cover the costs of these procedures. Our organization strives to give any affected woman a choice regarding her future family before lifesaving treatment makes decisions for her. We will advocate, educate and fundraise until coverage is the new norm in all 50 states.
Tracy Weiss is a cancer survivor who was diagnosed with uterine and cervical cancer at age 30. She definitely knew what the cervix did, no matter what anyone tells you. Tracy was pretty annoyed when her insurance company denied her claim to preserve her fertility under it being ‘elective’ -- as if having a tumor was something anyone would chose. She remained angry until The Chick Mission was founded to help women standing in her shoes -- now she gets her revenge every time another woman receives assistance from the organization. Tracy is our board’s Chief Creative Officer as she is the weirdest Chick In the Flock. She is our Acting Executive Director because she types really really fast.
Laurie Katz, a day one employee and partner at GoldenTree Asset Management, understands what it feels like when a mother, a matriarch is affected by this disease. Laurie is the daughter of a strong woman who silently battled multiple forms of cancer. Now as a parent to teenage boys, Laurie uses her (little) free time to stand up for patients and to the disease to which her mother succumbed.
Emily Fritz spends her days as the Director of Business Development at LibreMax Capital and her nights as a supermom to two tiny dudes. Emily brought her West Coast steel to Amanda’s cancer fights, the friend who sat in on multiple chemo sessions and now uses her “never give up” collegiate varsity soccer mentality to push The Chick Mission forward.
Jane Rice is a career long project manager who knows how to get shit done. Supporting her youngest child through not one or two, but three bouts with cancer, Jane has the unique perspective of knowing what happens to a mother watching her child experience this disease. Newly retired, she was the first person to say yes to the heavy lifting of getting a non-profit off the ground and is invaluable as our Momma Hen to the Chicks.
Jaime M. Knopman, M.D. is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist with years of experience treating couples and individuals with infertility. She serves as the Director of Fertility Preservation for CCRM New York and the Chief Medical Officer of the Chick Mission. She also brings her personal brand of intelligence, no-nonsense and honesty to pushing fertility preservation options for cancer patients forward and our board business. When not inspiring her patients (and all of us) or her two grade school aged girls, she’s running marathons faster than should be legal.
Hailing from a Midwestern family with FIVE sisters, Naomi moved East to attend Harvard University and earn an MBA from Columbia Business School. Now a managing director in the Healthcare Group within the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs, Naomi and her husband, James, became fertility preservation allies after a five year struggle with infertility. A proud mother to her daughter born via surrogate, she vowed to fight for other women to have the same opportunities modern medicine afforded her family.