I Had a Stroke at 33 Years Old: Why I'm Now a Health & Infertility Advocate.

To many SoulCycle riders and fans, Master Instructor Emma Zaks looks like the model of good health as she inspires people in her weekly classes to live up to their fullest potential. Others know Emma from her time on Broadway, following in her parents footsteps.

What some of her fans and followers may not know is that Emma is also a stroke survivor and an infertility advocate. Navigating her undiagnosed autoimmune disease in her early 30s & and now struggling to conceive with her husband, popular child actor Geoffrey Wigdor, has inspired Emma to speak out and use her voice to advocate for change, so other people navigating confusing and upsetting health diagnoses like these don't feel as unsupported and alone. 

This episode is supported by Donor Egg Bank USA, the only egg bank in America with the 100% Assured Refund Plan™  guaranteeing that you'll bring home a baby or you'll receive your money back. To lean more, visit

More Episodes


I’m Raising Donor Conceived Children & Recently Learned My Biological Dad Was a Sperm Donor

Sperm donation has been around since the 1950s and has helped build countless families for people with male factor infertility and/or for women without male partners.When it started, and in the decades that followed, most sperm donors were anonymous and many people who used sperm donors were actually discouraged from telling their offspring that they were conceived this way. But, as donor conception grew, so did the data and feedback from this group, who often demanded to know their genetic roots.On this pregnantish podcast, Andrea interviews two women, Sydney Sharon & Hayley Darknell-King, who live in different countries but share a similar experience of learning as adults that their biological dads were sperm donors. Sydney's dad was a sperm donor in the 1980s and Hayley was conceived, via sperm donation, during the same period. Both women know sperm donation from another perspective, too, as women in lesbian marriages who relied on sperm donation to build their respective families.This episode explores Sydney and Hayley’s personal stories and discoveries as they learned about their conception stories and DNA, how this information has positively changed their lives and/or made them question their identities, and how this information has shaped them as parents of donor conceived people today.This episode is sponsored by California Cryobank, which carefully selects the highest quality sperm donors to give clients the best possible opportunity for a safe and successful pregnancy. In fact, less than 1% of applicants can become a California Cryobank donor. Interested in starting your search? Head to and enter the code PREGISH to gain access to a free Level Two subscription in 2023.Hayley Darknell-King is an editorial guest and isn’t affiliated with California Cryobank.