Help us with the miracle of life.

We are asking for your help in our quest to become parents.  This is the most difficult challenge that we have confronted in our lives.  Our hearts are heavy making a request of this type, and we are doing so after much thought.  All preliminary procedures have met obstacles, and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is our last option.  
IVF is a process of fertilization in which an egg is combined with sperm outside the body, in vitro.  The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman's ovulatory process, removing ova from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilize them in a liquid.  This occurs in a laboratory setting.  In our case, an additional procedure is required in which the selected sperm is directly injected into the egg.  The cost of services is $15,500, and the medications total $4,500.  The total amount is due October 12th.

We were so blessed to marry a friend from our youth.  Reconnecting after 12 years, we decided to be together forever.  We were engaged shortly after Ashleigh's graduation from the Maryville University Nursing Program, which promised a great career along with a massive amount of student loan debt. 
We had pursued pregnancy since 2016, but after two years with no success, we sought an evaluation from Dr. Randall Odem, a reproductive endocrinologist.  Basic diagnostics included an ultrasound, sonohystogram, semen analysis, and bloodwork.  All looked normal except the semen analysis, and advanced maternal age was noted.  
Leading up to our wedding in April, 2019, we stopped trying to get pregnant.  Shockingly and sadly, Ashleigh's dad suffered a fatal heart attack 8 days before the wedding.  Our fondest dream was that with the loss of one special person, a new life could be created.  Following Dr. Odem's instructions, we attempted to get pregnant over the next 6 months.
A series of visits to Dr. Odem involved more in-depth testing.  A hysterosalpingogram (dye injection) revealed a blockage in Ashleigh's right fallopian tube that was inoperable.  An advanced semen analysis confirmed a low sperm count, low motility and DNA Fragmentation.  With these findings the possibility for natural conception became very slim.  

Our next step was Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).  This is the deliberate introduction of sperm into a female's cervix using a fine catheter at the time of ovulation.  Two attempts failed.  After the second attempt, the physician recommended IVF.  Unfortunately, the timing coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic (March, 2020), and the Washington University Center for Reproductive Medicine would halt procedures for the upcoming Spring/Summer.  With this major disappointment, our hopes led us to try natural conception to no avail.  After seeking a second opinion by Dr. Peter Ahlering at the Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine (MCRM), the original results were confirmed.  
IVF is our only option, and the 60-70 percent success rate is favorable.  The MCRM is compassionate, personal, and reputable facility.  However, the expense is considerable and not a covered insurance benefit.  This situation is so unexpected and adds continuing financial strain on a newlywed couple. Ongoing living expenses combined with student loan debt, and a major medical expense is daunting.   


Parenthood is a milestone that we have envisioned our entire lives.  Even in the midst of overwhelming circumstances, our dream remains.  With your help and God's grace, we will succeed.  Please share our story, and remember us in your prayers.  

With love and thanks,
Craig and Ashleigh Collier


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Fundraising team: Fundraising team (2)

Craig Collier 
Maryland Heights, MO
Ashleigh Collier 
Team member
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