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This post was written by one of the members of Conceivable Dreams. I am community manager for the group.
By Ashley Bulley
They say it takes an entire community to raise a family; in our case it took an entire community to afford one.
My husband Adrian Arbos and I were married young. We started trying to conceive when I was 23. We’d been married for five years and we were ready to start a family. But, we couldn’t.
We tried. We did all the tests to determine why we were infertile and eventually we discovered that a surgery my husband had as a baby for hernia repair had actually left him infertile. Adrian went through surgery to try and repair his severed seminal tubes. That was not successful. That was when we were told IVF, in vitro fertilization, was our only option to conceive a child. We learned the cost would be about $10,000 and there was no funding at all. None of our health care costs would be covered by OHIP.
We were young, just starting out and we knew there was no way we could afford IVF. We were devastated. I poured my heart and thoughts out to my network on Facebook. I told my friends and family. I had a lot of talks to God in there and I cried a lot. My Dad started the fundraising almost immediately. He went door to door asking local businesses for money for our IVF. We started a petition also indicating why funding is needed for IVF in Ontario. We collected so many signatures. Then we held a community barbecue and the response was incredible. One of my closest friends had an on line auction on Facebook. The love and support was tremendous. We also went on TV and news stations. Then we planned a benefit concert called Bands for Babies. We sold tickets, had a silent auction and had raffles and games. In the end we raised $14,000. Our entire treatment came to $17,000.
Today we are a family of four. We have two amazing babies. That’s it. That’s our story. We have a family because we fundraised and the community pulled together to help. But really, it shouldn’t be this hard to have a family in Ontario.
I am compensated as community manager. This is a cause I believe in 100%. Follow @ohip4ivf on Twitter for more information.