Support the Stratfords

As you may or may not have known, Jess and Eric have been fighting an uphill battle to complete their loving family for more than a year now.  Our dear friend Jess has experienced complications with endometriosis and polyps, resulting in painful and invasive treatments.  Jess has undergone surgery to attempt to remove the polyps and endometriosis that have been interfering with her ability to become pregnant.  Jess and Eric have recently experienced their first loss of two embryos via a failed, and extremely expensive, attempt at IVF.  They are courageously moving forward with a second try.  As close friends of and family to Jess and Eric, we are rallying around them emotionally and financially.  The situation becomes more urgent by the day, as the likelihood of Jess' endometriosis and polyps coming back increases with passing time. 

While Jess and Eric are excited by and appreciative of a GoFundMe in their honor, they wish to keep the donation circle small at this point, which is why you are being contacted directly, by email.  That being said, if there are others who are looking to help, please feel free to share on an individual basis.  

Please read on to hear Jess' story in her own words:

I have wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember.  To have a family of my own has always been my ultimate lifelong dream.  As fate would have it, I didn’t have the opportunity to start one until I was already in my early 30’s.  Eric and I found each other and now here we are trying desperately to have a family.  We tried for a few months on our own with no success.  Thankfully, I have a wonderful OB who recommended that I get tested.  It was in those tests that we found out I have stage I or II endometriosis and polyps.  One of the top causes for infertility in women, and hard to treat, and difficult to predict how it will affect your infertility.  I had surgery for removal and we continued to try on our own.  There is really no way to describe my feelings month after month of negative tests besides soul crushing.  We decided to try some timed cycles with a trigger shot to induce ovulation.  When those failed, we moved into IUI - Intrauterine Insemination.  My emotions each time were such a roller coaster; through having to go in for blood to be drawn, multiple trans-vaginal ultrasounds, then having the insemination.  It all took its toll.  After 3 failed rounds of IUI, I started looking into IVF.  We had originally said we wouldn’t do it.  Why would you ever think that you need to? We are both healthy - or so I thought - and young(ish).  Yet here we were in a place I never in a million years dreamed I would be.  Staring into the very real possibility of a future of never being a mom or making Eric a father.  IVF in Minnesota costs around $17,000, and this is for each round.  This wasn’t feasible at all. But after some deep digging I found a clinic in upstate NY that coincidentally was a clinic a friend of mine had used.  This cost $8,000 for each round.  While still a lot, much more doable.  After many conversations, Eric and I agreed we would start.  During this time I began a diet of keto, whole 30, gluten free, dairy free, caffeine free and alcohol free.  This was followed shortly by giving myself shots every night and taking medicine that makes me feel sick and basically have constant PMS.  My cousin gave me this mantra that I began to use during all of it.  “I will do anything for a baby”.  It helped me focus.  Soon enough our time to go to NY was here.  We went out there and did the egg retrieval and embryo making process.  I was so hopeful as we got 12 eggs.  However, only 4 ended up becoming viable as embryos for transfer.  We made the decision to transfer two embryos and spent the week being with friends enjoying some time in upstate NY.  Upon returning to MN I was so positive and hopeful again.  I felt very connected to the two little lives inside me.  God however had other plans and it wasn’t our time to become parents.  The process had failed.  We now go back in about two weeks for our last try with our remaining two embryos.  While I am hopeful, I am not as excited this time.  Flying and traveling during a pandemic is less than ideal and frankly, after the procedures, I just want to be at home with my fur babies to calm me.  With hopes and prayers on our side, it will work.  However, if it doesn’t, we will need to repeat this long process again, spending another $8,000 and another week in NY.  At this point, I feel like we are having to make the decision between going into debt or having a family.  It is one of the most horrible feelings I have ever felt.  And so I am turning to you, my friends and family.  I am asking if you will support us giving this another try.  It would mean the world and be the most treasured gift to both of us.

Donations

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  • Kelly Bomberg 
    • $75 
    • 1 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $150 
    • 5 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 5 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 6 d
  • Mark Mickelson 
    • $300 
    • 6 d
See all

Fundraising team (5)

Kimberly Warwick 
Organizer
Utica, NY
Jessica Stratford 
Beneficiary
Cullen Leese 
Team member
Kaela King 
Team member
Margaret Tahan 
Team member
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