Until very recently, people rarely ever heard about someone dealing with infertility. It was, and still can be, a difficult thing to talk about. It can be difficult to find social groups where the people understand what you are going through; and, out of fear of judgment and ridicule, it is something that many do not talk about publicly. Many couples end up feeling alone and embarrassed to discuss the challenges they are facing.
As our society becomes more social and connected with people all around the world, we find that there are a lot more people out there who are facing the same challenges, whether that be infertility, a serious illness or debility, or any number of trials we could be faced with. There has never been so much love, support, and encouragement from people across the world; people we have never met in person, yet we consider to be friends. There are now hundreds of thousands of support groups for just about anything you can think of. We also have organizations like Utah Infertility Resource Center in Salt Lake, who provide emotional support for couples dealing with infertility. There has never been a better time in the world than now to be going through something as difficult as infertility.
About one in eight couples across the United States deal with some form of infertility. This means that there are good chances that someone you know has had, is currently having, or will have difficulties in conceiving a child. To the outside world, they appear to be very normal couples. But what everyone doesn’t see is the internal struggle that they face every single day. With every baby announcement, with each baby shower invitation, with every complaint about how difficult it is to be a parent, a part of them breaks inside. Couples can struggle with this for years and years, wondering why it can be so easy for everyone else, but so difficult for them. Their hopes and dreams of having kids of their own become more difficult to see with each passing day.
For most couples, one of the biggest roadblocks for them to start fertility treatments is money. On average, one round of IVF costs $12,000 to $15,000, and most insurance companied do not cover infertility.
Unfortunately, infertility can result in large amounts of debt, depression, and in many cases divorce. Having dealt with infertility themselves, and having the first-hand understanding of what struggles couples go through when faced with infertility, Chase and Tedi Palmer decided that they wanted to try and make a difference. In March 2016, during their second In Vitro Fertilization cycle, and with the help of some close friends, they started The Hope for Fertility Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise infertility awareness, to provide financial support for couples faced with the challenges of infertility, and most importantly, bring hope back into the lives of couples who feel that there is none.
The foundation's name is based on two key words. First: "Hope". Sometimes hope is all that is left, and we want to preserve the hope in people’s lives that having a family of their own is not only a very real possibility, but that they weren’t alone in the process and that there are people out there willing to help them out. And second: "Fertility". We wanted to focus on the positive of the journey. We don't want to dwell on IN-fertility, since that word is associated a with heartache, struggle, and longing. It’s a word that suggests that we are not something that we truly, and desperately want to be. We wanted to focus on positive. The ultimate goal here is to help people bridge the gap between infertility to fertility, so as sort of positive mantra, we wanted to focus on where we wanted to be, not where we have been.
At The Hope for Fertility Foundation, our mission is: "To provide HOPE to couples struggling in their journey to creating or expanding their families, by helping them tell their story, by spreading infertility awareness, and providing financial assistance through grants and fundraisers."