Eliza's Incredible Egg Rescue

Eliza is a sister, best friend, daughter, lover, marathoner, storyteller, writer, academic, provocateur, amateur comedian, listener, activist, fashionista, sun-basker, Honda Civic driver, Harlem dweller, stripper shoe wearer, tea drinker, whiskey sipper, stray cat feeder, former Goth, current macabre aficionado, vegetarian (minus bacon), nail junkie, nature fanatic, menstruation enthusiast, feminist superhero, witchy-wanderess-of-the-soul who was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Determined to not let this latest stamp negate all she is and dreams to be, Eliza took a very risky opportunity and decided to delay her chemotherapy treatment and undergo IVF treatment in the hopes of, one day, adding “mother” to this extraordinary list.

Her journey began at the age of four, immigrating with her mother from Poland to the United States, and soon setting roots in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. An unconventional childhood allowed Eliza to openly explore her surroundings, develop her keen street smarts, intellectual curiosities, and sensitivity towards those who were cast-out. When her sister Nicole was born, she took on an additional mothering role—guiding her first steps, teaching, and most-of-all learning the meaning of gentle understanding, patience, and unconditional love that would ultimately carry from her personal life into her professional interests.

Eliza’s passion for the largely-ignored, personal journeys of marginalized people began to materialize through her clinical and research work at Columbia University while pursuing her MA. Her focus became bringing the overlooked stories of underserved women out of shadows and into consciousness. After completing her Masters Degree, she continued at Adelphi University as a Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology, dedicated to Women’s Maternal and Reproductive Health.

Through her externship work at Fordham University, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Columbia University Medical Center she enacted the philosophy of a “holding space,” nurturing her patients vulnerabilities and creating an environment of trust necessary for healing. This past year, she provided psychological evaluations for men and women seeking asylum in the United States. While Eliza has constructed her life around the care of others, particularly women—recognizing the sacredness of the doctor-patient relationship—her recent diagnosis has turned her role 180 degrees, where she is now the one in need of care.

Around this time, Eliza would be defending her dissertation proposal to her school committee, but instead, she is undergoing her first round of intensive inpatient, induction chemotherapy. Her dissertation is a qualitative analysis of postpartum psychosis and childbirth trauma. From her experience mothering her sister from infancy to adulthood, being a mother was always something Eliza dreamed about, strived to define, and wanted for herself. The two phase treatment she is now undergoing (induction chemo and probable stem cell transplant) would eliminate her reproductive abilities. But because of Eliza’s intense will, and the incredible group of doctors/caregivers at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Weill-Cornell University Medical Center, after two weeks of hormone shots and close monitoring, she successfully harvested and froze ten mature eggs. 

We are asking for your help to cover some of the medical expenses related to her IVF treatment, prompted by her AML diagnosis. You cannot know how much this means to her! We thank everyone who has already shown their support.
  • Jack Zelkowitz  
    • $25 
    • 46 mos
  • Judith Segal 
    • $50 
    • 47 mos
  • Daniel Gunter 
    • $123 
    • 47 mos
  • Purple Toe Woe 
    • $61 
    • 48 mos
  • Y Jones  
    • $40 
    • 48 mos
See all


Nicole Budzinski 
New York, NY

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