Continuing on the path of Giving Tuesday- remember way back to Thanksgiving and gratitude? It may feel a really long time ago. And with infertility, it may feel even more challenging to conjure up gratitude as the holiday season marches on.
Meet a fertility superhero. Aprill Lane.
Simple But Not Easy Facts About Infertility
Infertility can take all you’ve got- emotionally, physically, financially.
Giving when you’re feeling depleted is still possible and has a positive rate of return- you feel really good!
How do you give back when you’re exhausted.
This is not a rhetorical question, there is an answer.
Answer- pick something manageable for you. More on that later.
I’m sharing a story here of a woman who gave back to the infertile community with the largest gift that she could possibly think of- literally, a piece of herself.
Giving to the Infertile Community- Even If You’re Still In It
Aprill Lane was determined to have her family. Just like I was. Just like you are.
While she was undergoing her 10 IVF cycles, she started AGC, a not for profit organization offering financial support for fertility treatment cycles.
That’s a lot. Plus a full-time job. Plus, the family she worked so hard to create. It would be considered a full plate for mostly anyone, yes?
For Aprill, she knew, deep down in the furthest recesses of her heart, that she had more to give.
Last week, Aprill underwent surgery to donate her uterus to a recipient who was born with MRKH, a rare genetic disorder resulting in a woman’s uterus to be either “underdeveloped or missing”. Aprill took part in a trial at Baylor University, as one of only 11 living uterine donors.
Here’s her story.
Aprill Lane’s Story
“This all started with the simple fact that once you’re involved in the infertile community, you’re always looking to give more back, because you get how hard this is, especially trying to do it alone. My first step was getting screened to be a surrogate but that wasn’t the best option for my family. Through the AGC Foundation, I’ve been aware of the trials around uterine transplants and what’s been needed. This was a concrete, physical way to help someone else have their family. With all the scans, testing, ultrasounds, I turned out to be a great candidate, in fact, the best vascular candidate that they’d ever seen. It turned out that we found out more about our own fertility journey than we knew before- and it was a relief and a joy to find out that was a uterine transplant candidate for someone with MRKH.”
What can you do?
Aprill goes on to say, “Everybody has the ability to give back in some capacity- find your own strength and talent. It may be emotional support (volunteering for a support group) financial support (donating to a not for profit) or speaking up in the advocacy arena.”
Our call to action is simple:
What RMA of Connecticut is asking (what I am personally asking) is to choose one of these (or come up with your own!)
If you are still in the midst of fertility treatment, make a donation that feels significant to you. One idea is your birthday number or another number that is meaningful.
If you prefer, donate time or volunteer to host a support group.
Another option is to speak up about your personal story or your opinion on the state of infertility as a whole- be an advocate (this can be done anonymously).
I’m taking Aprill’s message to heart, which is where it came from- her heart. All of us can do something. Me, I’m committing to donating money to 2, not for profit fertility organizations that are near and dear to me that I’ve not donated to before, the Nest Egg Foundation and AGC Scholarships.
What will you choose to give back to the infertile community?
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.