An unfortunate reality of my specialty is that treatment is expensive. The medications, the supplies and specialized training necessary to put together a successful IVF cycle are daunting. Worse still is that in most states—including my state of California—there is no mandate requiring insurance companies to pay for fertility treatment. That leaves many couples without hope and without options.
I happen to be lucky in that I work for a fertility center [g1] that understands the importance of “giving back” to the community. Even in this difficult economy, we are still digging deep in order to provide IVF scholarships to individuals/couples that would otherwise remain childless. Selecting scholarship recipients is problematic however and still does not overcome the cost of medications.
Thankfully, there are organizations available to fill the gap. For several years, I have had the good fortune to work with the organization called INCIID[g2] . This nonprofit was started by a woman that experienced infertility herself. Though she was able to overcome her challenge, she realized the need that existed for greater access to treatment by other women that weren’t as fortunate as she was. As a result, she created the “Inside the Heart” scholarship program which accepts the difficult burden of selecting scholarship recipients for participating IVF centers as well as encouraging the donation of medications by pharmaceutical manufacturers. Recently, INCIID was featured in a news story on National Public Radio[g3] . Yet this organization has been performing this valuable service since 1995 without seeking any special recognition.
I just completed another treatment cycle for a wonderful couple that would otherwise remain without options. This was the fourth such cycle I have been fortunate enough to participate in. Having successfully completed fertility treatment with my own wife, I fully understand the joy and anticipation that now fills them as they await their pregnancy test. Thank you for giving me this reminder of why I enjoy this work so very much.