2021 End of Year
Give hope and build families this holiday season
Josie was 24 when she had emergency open heart surgery for an aortic aneurysm, a condition so severe, her surgeons suspected something much more serious was at play. Josie was subsequently diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a rare and serious genetic disorder. She was told that pregnancy would be life-threatening, and there would be a 50% chance of transmitting Marfan syndrome to her future child(ren).
Josie and Esten were advised by their medical team that the safest option was to use a gestational carrier to avoid the risk that pregnancy would incur. Additionally, they were recommended to utilize in-vitro fertilization, with pre-implantation genetic testing, to avoid passing on Marfan syndrome. Not only daunting and overwhelming, the majority of costs this would incur were not covered by health insurance, and came with a cost-prohibitive price tag.
Josie says, “Even if you pursue surrogacy or adoption out of medical necessity -be it for reasons like Marfan, cancer, or being a part of the LGBTQ+ community - there’s no coverage, and costs can easily run over $100,000. Esten and I have made every decision in our lives around wanting a child - from the state we live in, the companies we work for, the type of wedding we had, the house we were fortunate to buy. It was devastating to find out that, through no fault of our own, the services we needed to have a child would not be fully covered.”
Despite all their planning, Josie and Esten’s path to parenthood was not covered by insurance. But thanks to a grant from the Chicago Coalition for Family Building, support from their families, and their amazing gestational carrier, they welcomed their son, August, to the world this past summer.
Josie and Esten’s story is, sadly, not unique. One in eight couples struggle to conceive for reasons ranging from infertility, failure or absence of reproductive organs, to diseases like cancer and disorders like Marfan syndrome. And, every day, hundreds of thousands of their insurance claims are denied.
With your support we can help more people like Josie and Esten fulfill their dreams of parenthood. Currently we are able to award one in five applicants with a grant. Our goal is to help everyone who applies.
Please donate today. Thank you for your generosity.