Olivia's Sibling Fund

Dear Friends & Family,

We are writing because we are in need of your help. The year 2017 was a very hard year for us, and thus this message is difficult to write, but we do so with open hearts because we know that we are better when we open up about what has been happening.  Our goal is to be as transparent as possible, as this is the only way we know how to be right now.
 
In January 2017, we found out that we will not be able to conceive more children on our own. We had been trying to have another child for about a year, and when it didn’t seem to be working we requested a referral to a specialist. It turns out that Amanda was diagnosed with Asherman’s Syndrome, which essentially is extreme scarring of the uterus. While we had no idea, it turns out that some of the complications from Olivia’s birth in 2014, mainly retained placenta after the delivery, and a combination of unfortunate events including an emergency D&C 7 weeks later, all led to Amanda’s uterus being scarred pretty badly. As a result, no egg can implant making it close to impossible to conceive another child. While finding this out last year was devastating, we tried to stay strong because there was a chance that surgery might have helped to repair the scarring enough to try to carry a child. Unfortunately, Amanda went through 5 surgeries this year to try to repair the problem, and the result was the same, and ultimately the doctors had to stop trying.
 
We are truly blessed to have a happy, healthy, brilliant daughter. And we could not be more in love with her every single day. Despite this, our dream of having a bigger family is going to be more difficult to achieve. However, it’s not impossible. 

The end of our year of medical interventions ended with a cycle of IVF to create embryos to store for the day that we can obtain a surrogate.  Amanda had the retrieval at the beginning of December 2017 and we were lucky enough to make 1 healthy embryo (so far) that is now frozen, awaiting a transfer to a healthy uterus.  We have done a lot of research, and the estimated amount of money we would need to go through an agency and find a surrogate, and pay for the surrogate’s medical expenses is about $100,000. While this is clearly a lot of money, it is really hard for us to imagine this investment not being completely worth it in a lifetime of happiness raising another child and giving Olivia a sibling to love and grow with.

There is a lot of help that our world needs right now, so much to even keep full track of sometimes.  It is difficult for us to ask you all for your help right now, because we know there are so many more deserving causes out there that we want to give our money to, and we would encourage others to give to as well.  However, we are in a vulnerable state with everything that has gone on in our lives in the last year, and we are going to boldly ask for your help as well.  The year 2018 is a year we are hoping will be filled with joy, peace, and life (18 is "Chai" in Hebrew, which also means Life, and we are hoping for a miracle).  We’ve created a GoFundMe page to help us relieve some of the expenses for finding a reliable surrogate. 

So, here is what we are asking from you:

1.    Please spread the word and if you or someone you know has considered being a surrogate for a family in need, we would love to get connected about this (this would actually save about $30,000-$50,000 from the agency costs if we found someone to do this for us without needing financial compensation, as in this case we would just have to cover the medical costs of the pregnancy and any extras the surrogate would need for clothes, etc.).

2.    Please donate to our surrogacy fund.  We welcome any donations, however, we were asked by some people for a meaningful number that would help us, so we did some calculations.  Given the number of people we know, something close to $100 per friend or $200 per family or couple would likely make a huge dent in our costs for this process.  We know that money is tight for everyone, and we will be thankful just for your considerations, prayers, thoughts, and hugs, and for anything you can contribute to help us at this time.  Ideally, this would occur in the next couple of months, in order to get the process started with the surrogacy agency. Without raising the funds that we need here, it is likely that we won’t be able to have another child, as there are a lot of limits to how much we could take out in a personal loan.

3.    Please spread our GoFundMe page to anyone you know who might think that this is a cause they would want to support.  Really, any bit helps, and like I said, we are trying to be transparent as possible (keeping things to ourselves has not helped), and we don’t mind you sharing this with people you know.  Maybe it could even help others who have gone through something similar to know that they are not alone.

4.    If you are able to donate, we would very much like to pay it forward, and we would welcome a separate email with the name of an organization or social cause that is important to you that we can donate to on your behalf in the future when we are able.  This is actually really important to us, so please do not be shy in letting us know.
 
We believe in the power of community, and anyone who knows us knows that we would do anything in our power to help the people we know and love, and even help people we don’t know.  We fully recognize that by no means are we the only people to have gone through fertility issues or any other complications related to having a child.  However, despite it being rare for us to ask for help in this way, and despite the fact that it feels a bit strange and we have some embarrassment about it, we are doing so anyway because we don’t want to go through this alone.  We don’t think anyone should. 
 
Thank you so much for reading our story and for your love and support. 

All our love,
 
Amanda & Aaron
  • Damien Conover 
    • $72 
    • 21 mos
  • Jessica Schaffel Caine 
    • $54 
    • 21 mos
  • Ilan Hoffenberg 
    • $36 
    • 21 mos
  • Deana Kaplan  
    • $50 
    • 41 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $72 
    • 41 mos
See all

Organizer

Amanda Melisa 
Organizer
Chicago, IL
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