The gift of fertility: Kelowna couple to deliver unorthodox Christmas present
EDITOR’S NOTE: Some of the funds for this special gift will be coming from public donations through a GoFundMe account and other fundraising events that have been set up by the Serviss family.
Infertility. It’s often a devastating issue.
According to Public Health, difficulties conceiving is a problem that touches the lives of one in six couples in Canada, a number that’s doubled since the 1980s.
That’s why Jody and Dustin Serviss are seeking a deserving couple to help this holiday season.
“It was about eight years ago,” Dustin said. “We struggled to get pregnant and it was a five-year journey of infertility, multiple treatments and a lot of stress.”
Jody Serviss was especially affected by the constant failed attempts.
“People kept asking when year one goes by, then year two: ‘when you guys having kids?’ All of your friends are married around the same time and they start having children,” said Jody. “So it’s the baby showers and the first birthdays. I had panic attacks and anxiety.”
The pair eventually had to tell family members to never ask about children again.
“I felt like I lost myself a little bit in the journey,” Jody said. “I stopped working out because I thought I needed to gain more weight to get pregnant, or I was working too hard, so a lot of my passions fell aside. I felt very isolated. I was so consumed by it. It was very hard on our relationship.”
The painful, five-year journey was filled with alternative treatments — acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, leading all the way up to multiple rounds of costly in vitro fertilization (IVF).
“Your treatments are anywhere from $700 to $12,000 to $14,000 for a full IVF with frozen egg treatment,” Dustin said, clarifying that those estimates are per attempt.
Then, after years of trying, tens of thousands of dollars spent and countless tears shed, the couple received the ultimate surprise. Jody was pregnant and it happened naturally.
“It was amazing, so amazing. It was unbelievable actually,” Jody said tearfully.
Now, two beautiful children later, Jody and Dustin are in a financial position to give back.
“What we’re going to do is provide a full in vitro treatment for a couple in Kelowna, and we’re going to give it to them on Christmas of 2018,” Dustin said. “This isn’t a contest. We’re creating awareness to get families to submit their stories and we’re trying to find a story that resonates with us.”
In addition to sponsoring a deserving couple, Jody and Dustin want to raise awareness and take away the stigma associated with infertility.
“Not a lot of people talk about it and it shouldn’t be like that,” said Dustin. “There’s nothing to hide.”
Jody and Dustin are looking for a couple living in Kelowna that are trying for their first child.
“I didn’t know if kids would be in my future,” the proud father said. “To now have them is very amazing.”
Those interested in sharing their story confidentially with the couple are asked to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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