If we sent you this letter, we know you understand our struggle and we need your help.
My wife Jaci and I have been trying to start a family together since the end of 2015. It has been our lifelong dream to be Mom and Mommy, and we were so excited to start this chapter in our lives together. For over a year, we tried to get Jaci pregnant via IUI. We planned to have her carry first, and I would carry second. But, every month we were met with a new bump in the road: first Jaci was diagnosed with PCOS, then a blocked fallopian tube, then polyps. She had surgery to remove the blockage and the polyps, and we were given the green light to try again. But even with those issues resolved, every attempt ended the same: with negative pregnancy tests, empty arms and broken hearts.
We consulted with a local fertility specialist and were told our best option was to move on to IVF. On one hand, this was devastating because it came with an enormous price tag, but on the other hand, it opened the door for us to do something called Reciprocal IVF, something we had dreamed of, but didn’t think we would ever be able to do. Reciprocal IVF (R-IVF) is when both of our eggs are retrieved, both are fertilized with the same donor, and then we would carry each other’s embryos. We would essentially have twin-siblings, or “twinblings.” We started talking to other couples in online infertility groups, and were excited to learn about a fertility clinic in New York where we could do IVF for $3,900 (for the egg retrieval AND a year of frozen embryo transfers). This would allow us to do R-IVF for $7,800 plus the cost of medications and monitoring.
We scheduled a phone consult with the clinic, and spoke with one of the doctors a couple weeks later. By the end of the call, we had a plan, a medication protocol, and a dream of taking a trip to New York this summer. We started a blog, a Facebook page, and a GoFundMe, but soon learned that raising money was MUCH harder than we expected, and started researching other options. We applied for grants and scholarships, but as of now, we have only gotten a 50% discount from one pharmaceutical company.
We both have good jobs – Jaci is a teacher and I am a nurse – and we both work for the Seminole County public school system. We have a decent combined income, but our benefits offer nothing in the way of infertility coverage
In March of 2015, we were fired from our jobs because of our sexual orientation, and it has taken us until just recently to recover from the financial and emotional burden that experience caused. It was a hard time for us, but we came through stronger than ever, and have used the experience as a platform to speak out against discrimination of the LGBTQ community. However, the financial burden of losing our jobs, and the time we spent out of work, plus the money we spent trying to get pregnant, left us with nothing in savings to use for IVF.
One thing we’ve learned over the last few years is that there is no shame is asking for help. It is our dream to be Mom and Mommy, but we realize we can’t achieve that dream without your help. In order for us to do R-IVF this summer as we had planned, we would need to come up with the money to cover medications, monitoring, genetic testing on the embryos, and our hotel for the time we are in New York. Our best estimate right now is about $18,000, but we can finance some of that through the fertility clinic, and we are financially able to make the payments. The cash amount we need in order to move forward is about $12,500.. We would be forever grateful for any part you could play in making our dream come true.
Kelly & Jaci Pfeiffer