National Infertility Awareness Week 2011, Day 2

Are you ready for some more ideas of things you can do to raise awareness about infertility this week? I hope you did something yesterday!!

Today’s Suggestions:

  • Write a note to someone who has helped support you or has reached out in a kind way…made a difference (a friend, a family member, your spouse, a doctor).
  • Write a note to someone who is dealing with infertility to offer support. Read this article first.
  • Invite someone you know who is dealing with infertility to go on an outing. Ice cream…great. Yummy cupcakes…even better. A walk on a nearby trail…perfect.
  • Make an appointment with a doctor to talk about infertility for the first time, or talk to your doctor about new options you would like to consider.
  • Sign up to be an iWalker with an iTEAM with RESOLVE’s Walk of Hope. For more information, click here.
  • Sign up to join us at the Pound the Pavement for Parenthood 5K in Saratoga Springs, Utah on May 14th.

Now, let me tell you about this Pound the Pavement for Parenthood 5K and my friend Jill

 

Jill and Allen W.
Saratoga Springs, Utah

 

I love Jill. I have met her once. I have emailed her several times. And, I love her. I love finding people who have a similar passion to me…people who love raising awareness about infertility, opening doors for couples, and helping couples find life and happiness beyond infertility. I found this in Jill.

This year marks the 2nd year that Jill has organized the Pound the Pavement for Parenthood 5K and I am thrilled to support her. In the back of my mind, I have wanted to couple two of my passions (infertility awareness and running) and have a fund-raising event to help couples offset the expenses of fertility treatments but I could never figure out the logistics and how to manage it along with all the other delicious and time consuming things I have on my plate. So, when I read about Jill last year (read here) and found out she had organized a great event, I knew I wanted to help and be involved.

I “interviewed” Jill about the event, and this is what she said:

What motivated you to start the Pound the Pavement for Parenthood 5K?
We met with our reproductive specialist on October 15, 2011.  When he advised us to move past IUI to IVF, I instantly felt the financial burden of the treatment.  I felt like he was just giving us the grave prognosis; years more of the emotional monthly roller coaster of wanting pregnancy, and in addition, a huge financial mountain to climb along the way.  I didn’t want to wait years in order to do one cycle of IVF.  My mind instantly started turning to ways for us to save and raise money.

I came home and cried for hours before confiding in a couple of friends.  That night they were sitting on my couch asking how they could help.  I had been brainstorming since leaving the doctor’s office that day. Since I’m a runner, a 5K was at the forefront of my thinking.   I had run in multiple charity races, but I had no clue where to start with this big idea.  We set the date for November 13 hoping that the weather would remain cold, but dry.  During the rapid planning of and preparation for our race, I knew that all of the work that was going into the 5K would someday have to benefit others.  I knew if I could help relieve even a portion of the burden of IVF/adoption for someone else, I would.  It was exciting!  I set up the race as an organization so that I could continue planning each year.  I suddenly felt it very important to not only help couples who struggle with infertility, but to bring awareness to a community where it is often overlooked and unrecognized.

After all was said and done, what did you see it accomplish?
More than anything, I think we were able to see our goals accomplished: bringing awareness to the struggle of infertility and raising money for my treatment.  In only 3 short weeks, it was incredible.

Creating this 5K taught me a lot about the goodness of others.  I was so amazed by the support we were able to get in just a few weeks of planning the race.  Some amazing people came out of the woodwork as they were or had struggled with infertility.  Some had family members who face fertility problems.  And others had never struggled but were touched by my story and expressed support for the cause and realized even more the blessing that their children were to them.

What was the biggest obstacle to overcome?
I think the timeframe we had to work in was the biggest obstacle.  A few weeks is a very short time to get through all of the logistics of creating not only a 5K run, but an organization.  There were a lot of hoops I had to jump through in order to get this race where we wanted it, and in the right way.

What was a miracle you saw along the way?
There were so many small miracles that we saw during the 3 weeks we were planning.  The city we planned the race was very accommodating, which could have easily been a deal-breaker.  More than anything though, I think we saw miracles in the generosity of people.  There are so many good people out there who want to help.  Even if they didn’t understand on a personal level the struggle of infertility, many of them were touched by our goal of helping others.  It was a miracle to see as people (mostly strangers) reached out to us and offered what they could to help our cause.  It softened my heart as I watched the Lord work through people in order to accomplish good things.  It is a feeling and an experience I will never forget.  I remember as I watched the runners leave the starting line that cold, but dry morning on November 13, how emotional it was.  They were running for us.  They were running for infertility.  And that was the most satisfying thing I had ever felt.  Because of that, of course I will continue putting on this race, and hope it can benefit others like me who want so badly to have the opportunity of parenthood.

What would you like this idea and dream to become?
I would love Pound the Pavement for Parenthood to become a well-known race that people look forward to and participate in every year.  I want to eventually be able to help couples farther away in other areas of the state in order to raise awareness in their communities.  I would love to someday have the option of a 10K, along with a 5K in order to get runners who simply want to run in a quality race interested.  I want our organization to become a “well oiled machine” so that any stresses that come with planning a yearly charity race can be somewhat remedied by having great and generous sponsors in larger businesses.  Bottom line:  I want to be able to help people in a big way!  I want to raise a substantial portion of the funds these couples need in order to realize their opportunity of becoming parents, whether it be medical treatment or adoption.  I want to relieve for others the stress I feel as I face my financial mountain of infertility treatment costs.
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Now, if that doesn’t make you want to sign up for the 5K, I don’t know what will.
Sign up today. Commit today. Go here today.

 

 

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