Pat and I were asked to speak at A Family of my Own - Fertility Conference in Glenview, IL on August 13. Of course we said yes. Luckily, we were available on this date. We really enjoy speaking to the public at events, media, etc about our unique story and our journey with IVF thus far. We really LOVE helping people going through it! I like to call it a silent sorority.
When I first started IVF several months ago, Pat and I weren't sure how open we really wanted to be about such a personal thing, if not the MOST personal thing to me. Since I was 12, I always thought I would be very private about it. I wasn't sure how it would be perceived by others that I would have to go through this. Once we were engaged and the arrival of my beautiful niece came, the big question was thrown at Pat and I. "When do you guys plan to have kids?" , "Can you have kids?" How did your cancer affect your ability to conceive?" At first my reaction was, it really is nobody's business. However, when we started IVF, we realized how many people in this world involved in it making it so common in society these days. We started to talk because of the sensitivity of the situation we were in and how we were going to move forward. The more people we talked with, the more we wanted to share our story. We know that we are in the minority of those who are open to share their story, but I am so glad we did. There are days where I get random emails or facebook messages full of hope and inspiration from other couples with their stories. I always feel that every story is full of sadness and tragedy early, but end with such success and jubilation. To know, we have helped just one person feel more educated, not alone, not diseased, how to make it as affordable as possible, but just one of the many who are currently hurting from this disease of infertility, makes this journey different to us. We have formed lifelong friendships from this. We wanted to be able to help other couples for the rest of our lives going through this.
Don't get me wrong, I hate infertility more than anything in this world...it is the only thing that is out of our control. When I first started in IVF, I thought of course why me? why cancer? why am I still hurting from it? It was all centered around me. I did not once prepare myself for the exposure I was headed to meeting the most AMAZING people that are in this world. We hear so oftenly, thank you for sharing your story and being open, when reality is, Pat and I thank you all for showing us the true amazement of the pure kindness and generosity of people. It has bettered both of us. We have grown so much as a couple from all this. We do not regret sharing our personal lives with everybody. The support from everybody has been so helpful to both of us. Thank you for your support and for those of you who opened up and shared your story with me. It has helped me VERY MUCH! There is a reason this has happened to me. I know I had cancer and am going through IVF for a reason. I feel that reason is to share it with the world and to help other people feel not alone and not scared of what the future holds. Knowing there are others in the same boat brings a sense of comfort. I like to give that comfort to others. It makes the process just a tad more easier to handle.
Good News! Back to the conference! We have just been informed that the raffle giveaway is a FREE IVF cycle!!!! Yes, you heard correct! Sound familiar?! That is how Pat and I got started in this journey and without a prize like that we would not have had the opportunity to even start. For those of you without insurance coverage who are looking for means to help the start of your family, come to the conference and be sure to enter the raffle! It can and will change your life! Come and enter the raffle and also get informed from many of the small educational pieces that they will have there! I wish there was something like this when we first started. We were infertility virgins and went in with much naivety. Knowledge is power. Also, meet some infertility experts and some couples going through it! It is being held at the Wyndham-Glenview! Come join us for a fun day! Register today!! :)