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Author Topic: FUNDING FOR IVF  (Read 8304 times)
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Would YOU pay for other people to have IVF? Infertile couples are turning to crowdfunding to raise thousands for treatment
Bryan and Lisa Heine, from Illinois, raised the money within just four months
Have been trying for a baby for eight years and three cycles of IVF failed
Their last chance is to use an egg donor but they were unable to afford it
Having raised the money, they are now waiting to be matched with a donor

By Emma Innes

Published: 14:53, 19 June 2014  | Updated: 15:05, 19 June 2014  

Fertility treatment can painfully expensive and many infertile couples scrimp and save for years to be able to afford it.

But a growing number of people are turning to a more novel way of funding treatment - getting others to donate to their cause.

Some American couples have raised up to $20,000 thanks to the kindness of strangers.

One such pair are Bryan and Lisa Heine, from Bloomington, Illinois, who used a crowdfunding site to raise the $6,000 (£3,500) they needed to pay for an egg donor.

Bryan and Lisa Heine raised $6,000 for fertility treatment through a crowdfunding website

Bryan and Lisa Heine raised $6,000 for fertility treatment through a crowdfunding website

Amazingly, they raised the money in just four months and are now waiting to be matched with a donor.

They received 43 donations ranging from $10 to $500.

The couple, who married in August 2005 and started trying for a baby a year later, became concerned when they'd had no success after 18 months.

Mrs Heine, 32, went to see a doctor, who gave her devastating news.

Not only did she have polycystic ovary syndrome and an underactive thyroid, there was a tumour on her pituitary gland in the brain.

The gland helps control the balance of hormones in the body and a tumour on it can disrupt this function, making infertility much more likely.

Mrs Heine, a beauty teacher, was put on medication to balance her hormones in the hope this would enable her to conceive.

But a year later, they had still not been successful.

The couple were amazed to reach their fundraising target in just four months after donations flooded in

The couple were amazed to reach their fundraising target in just four months after donations flooded in

In January 2011, Mrs Heine was told her tumour had grown and that it had haemorrhaged.

As a result, in May 2011, she had surgery to remove the tumour and, miraculously, in September she discovered she was pregnant.

Writing on her GoFundMe crowdsourcing page, she said: ‘At the very end of an appointment [with my doctor] she had me take a pregnancy test, just to make sure.

‘The lab technician came rushing out of her room as I was leaving mine and we almost smacked right into each other, then she held out her hands and there was my test with two little lines.

'I was shocked! Bryan and I were thrilled - we were on cloud nine!’



In the UK, the fertility treatment available to couples on the NHS depends on what their individual primary care trust offers.

This varies across the UK and waiting lists can be very long.

In general, women under 40 are entitled to three cycles of IVF on the NHS if they have been trying to get pregnant for at least two years or if they have failed to conceive following 12 cycles of artificial insemination.

In some cases, women between the ages of 40 and 42 are also offered one cycle of IVF.

Some couples choose to go private to avoid the long NHS waiting times, or to have more cycles than the NHS offers.

One cycle of IVF carried out privately costs about £3,500.


In the U.S. some states offer IVF paid for by insurance, but many do not.

For couples whose insurance does not cover IVF, there are a few grants available.

But, the only option for many couples is to pay for it themselves and this can cost thousands of dollars.

But tragically, two days later, she discovered it was an ectopic pregnancy which was developing in one of her fallopian tubes.

Mrs Heine had to have surgery to end the pregnancy and to remove the fallopian tube.

Determined not to give up, in 2012 the couple started IVF treatment.

They were devastated when they were told not a single embryo had survived during any of their three cycles of treatment.

The only option they had left was to try and conceive using a donor egg - an expensive process they couldn't afford.

It was for this reason that they turned to crowdfunding through the website

Mrs Heine said: ‘Although we experienced so much loss, we are still extremely hopeful that we can still become parents.

‘This entire experience has been an emotional and financial burden on us, but Bryan and I remain a strong couple determined to conquer these obstacles together.

She added: ‘We continue to pray and have faith that we were meant to have a child to love and help grow.’

Amazingly, in April, just four months after they started fundraising, the couple reached their $6,000 target - and are now waiting to be matched with a donor.

Mrs Heine told Fox News: ‘It was difficult at first, because I know the baby won’t have any of my features, but we’re okay with that now.’

She added: ‘Everyone’s donated so much money to be able to do this and there’s always that fear in the back of our heads.

‘What if this doesn’t work? All these people donated for this happy ending and what if we don’t get one?’

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