Generations of Hope is a group of amazing, passionate, volunteers and infertility patients who are driven and talented and inspiring. They believe an accessible health care system also includes infertility treatment and funding for in vitro fertilization. They are smart and motivated and they work hard to help people understand why infertility patients and IVF funding Alberta matters. Together they champion better lives for infertility patients, and they envision a better future for their province. This weekend members will be running in the Calgary Marathon to raise funds and awareness to help others needing in vitro fertilization to build healthy families. They will be joined by MLA Rick Fraser who is running in support of Generations of Hope. I spoke to him this week about why infertility matters to him, why he is running and why he cares.
There are a few things you should know about MLA Rick Fraser. He is a father of two and an MLA who successfully held his seat in the election this month in Alberta. He is a Progressive Conservative MLA and was a paramedic before he ran for office. He is a genuinely approachable politician motivated by the need to help.
Q: – How did you learn about Generations of Hope?
RICK – My introduction to Generations of Hope started when a constituent came in to my office and talked to me about infertility and IVF funding and how it impacted families. Then I heard from more constituents about their difficulties conceiving and the need for IVF funding. I attended their Family Fun Day last year as well.
Q: – What resonated with you?
RICK – Being a parent is one of the greatest gifts I have ever had in my life. I can’t imagine my life as an adult without having my children. My kids are the inspiration to me for everything I do. People struggling with infertility should also have that chance to be parents.
Q: – Why did that visit or issue matter to you?
RICK – As an MLA you have to see the things everyone has in common. Someone took the time to show up at my office to tell me their story. That’s important to me. We have political fundraisers. There’s a lot of money raised at those. I feel we have an obligation to give back.
Through the charity portion of the Calgary marathon we decided we would support Generations of Hope this year. This is an issue that matters to my office. We have brought this issue to the Minister (previous minister of health) They have heard from us because this matters and because it is important to me to make sure Generations of Hope and my constituents who struggle with infertility all have a voice in the leg.
In my office, we have issues that we support and causes that are dear to us every year. It is hard to pick each year. Sometimes I wish there were ten of me and then I could raise more.
Q: – This isn’t your first time running the marathon, is it?
Rick – I have run the marathon three times. (Rick supports a local cause each time he runs.) I have run half marathons. I was running years ago even before I was elected.
Q: – Any other thoughts you want to share?
Rick – From the time kids are born, each year, each six months there is so much you get to experience with them that is truly wonderful. To not be able to have the chance to experience that well, every parent can understand that.
Q: – What is the goal? Do you have a target time you want to complete the marathon in this year?
Rick – We just finished an election and we were out working hard knocking on doors. It’s been a busy time so I haven’t had as much time to train. At this point I just want to be able to finish.
MLA Rick Fraser and Generations of Hope have raised money towards helping Alberta families make safe health care choices on the path towards becoming a family. But we can continue this support right up until the marathon. Race day is: May 31st. This is the link to donate.
Generations of Hope is still advocating for IVF funding for Alberta. Generations of Hope was conceived of in 2005 as an initiative of the Calgary Regional Fertility program. An Ontario IVF funding program is expected to be ready this year. IVF funding coupled with single embryo transfer is safer for both mother and child. IVF is often the most effective treatment for infertility patients, but at a cost of $10,000 to $14,000 a round, there are very few who can afford that. As a result many will take out second mortgages or borrow money, perhaps take out a credit line, work three jobs or use credit cards just to have a chance at treatment. When that happens many couples transfer multiple embryos thinking it might increase their chance at a family. Multiple births have much higher risk of lifetime health care issues. IVF funding is in place in many areas of the world. It helps to build healthier babies and it saves money. For more information about why this is still the right choice for Alberta you can read this: Families are the Future of Alberta
I am community manager and social media consultant for Generations of Hope. I strongly believe in everything I have written about infertility and the many reasons to help build healthy families. My opinion is 100 % honest and all mine.