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Seeds of hope: Calgary couple fundraising for fertility treatment

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WATCH: A Calgary couple desperate to grow their little family is hoping to sow the seeds of love. They are raising funds for their fertility treatments, one seedling at a time. Jill Croteau has their story. – May 6, 2022

A Calgary couple is sharing their very personal story in hopes of humanizing a heartbreaking reality for so many families.

Kara and Rick Wilhelm are eager to give their two-year-old daughter, Charlotte a chance at being a big sister.

The Wilhelm family at the park. Jill Croteau/Global News

“When I was five or six years old, I lined up all my dolls and pretended I was their mom. I imagined some day that would be my reality, and we’re trying,” Kara said.

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They’ve been trying ever since Charlotte was six months old and are now choosing to attempt medical intervention with in vitro fertilization (IVF).

“I was at a dangerous point with my mental health and I was having thoughts nobody should be having and it weighed heavy on me. All you want to do its provide your family with more family,” Kara said.

Rick, 51, had a vasectomy years ago and was able to get it reversed. The chances were slim, but against all odds the couple had Charlotte. His doctor is doubtful it would happen again.

“Once we had her (Charlotte), which was a miracle, I wish I started earlier and had more children and I know our time is running out,” Rick said.

So together they’ve launched a true labour of love. Kara created a modest little front room greenhouse and the idea of selling seedlings for their fertility fund.

Kara’s seedlings for sale. Jill Croteau/Global News
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For about $3, they are selling the fruit, vegetable and flower seedlings to help their family flourish.

More seedlings and seeds. Jill Croteau/Global News

They’ve also launched a gofundme in hopes they can eventually afford the IVF treatments, which are between $16,000-$20,000.

“That’s just for one shot. It’s a gamble, but it’s well worth it,” Kara said. “Health insurance doesn’t cover any of this, it’s all out of pocket.

“It’s not a guarantee, but a chance is better than no chance,” Rick said.

And they’ll do what it takes to care for one tiny seed in hopes it will bloom into nature’s biggest gift.

Kara is selling fruit, vegetable and flower seedlings. Jill Croteau/Global News

“It would be a dream,” Kara said.

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