It is time to stand up and fight! I do not mean go to your local bar, tick off a couple of regulars and get yourself a good old fashion butt kicking. What I mean is stop complaining about what is wrong in this world and put up a fight! Do something about it! Put it out there. If something feels wrong it probably is. So say it! If more people start standing up for what is right power is gained for the cause. Then something may actually change!
Kevin and I recently released our story through CBS about infertility treatment access to wounded veterans. We received a lot of amazing feedback for this. We also received some negative and somewhat heartbreaking feedback, but feedback none the less. However I saw time after time, “well what about me, what about my right to fertility treatments”, “those people should think about everyone and not just wounded solders” and so many similar comments. First off, I have to start with this. My heart beaks for those who have suffered with infertility! This is a newer world to me. It isn’t one I ever wanted to join; however it is our reality and acceptance has truly made it a smoother transition. Kevin and I decided to be public about our struggle because we knew that it could bring change. We are not looking for it to help ourselves. In the next couple of months we will be starting our IVF treatments. The law will not be changed by then and that is not stopping us. The reason we are doing this is because no one else should have to stress over having a family and I mean NO ONE!
It isn’t rare for a solider who comes back from come back from war with suffered significant injuries to also suffer in the fertility department. When people would ask about the injuries that Kevin withstood, he would rattle off the list, missing right leg below the knee, severe damage and leg salvage to the left leg, ruptured ear drum, crushed wrist, missing pinky, etc. One injury was always left out. Who wants to hear, “oh and I also lost my testicle”. As Kevin would say, that is a conversation ender! All of the previously listed injuries are well documented and receive care without question. The missing testicle however, not so much. One injury should not be treated any differently than another. The medical advances are available and our wounded soldiers should not be denied them.
With that being said, no one should be denied the treatments. Some people need infertility treatments due to conditions such as endermitrious, PCOS, cancers, etc. The disease isn’t being treated unless it gives the person the full function of that part of their body back or with significant attempts made. These people didn’t ask for this no more than Kevin asked for what happened to him. It is unfair. I feel like there is this notion that those who are able to conceive on their own are the “chosen ones”, and all those who cannot conceive naturally must adopt all the babies that the chosen ones decided they did not want to raise. In what realm does adoption cure a disease? It doesn’t! It is a perfectly amazing option for those who want to but that should be for both those who can conceive naturally and those who cannot. It should never be expected that the ones who struggle with fertility, adopt instead. There are plenty of medical treatments that can be attempted to give a person the ability to have their own biological children. This isn’t selfish; it is treating the problem. The medical advances are available and no one who needs them should be denied.
Kevin and I would love to change this for everyone if we could! We choose to tackle the wounded solider treatments first because there is currently a bill in Congress to reverse a law that prohibits the VA from covering infertility treatments. We will fight for this until it is achieved. This won’t help us with our first child and maybe not even our second but we hope that by putting up a fight, there will be a day when everyone has the ability they need to have the family they dream about. We are not saying that we do not care about the other reasons someone may need fertility treatments. This is the one infertility issue that we can give a face to. When there is a face to a problem, it is a lot harder for people to tell you no! Often, insurance companies follow standards similar to the government insurances and VA. If the VA will say they will cover fertility treatments, it is going to be significantly harder for other insurance companies to not follow suit! We are also working with Shady Grove Fertility Center to advocate for everyone. I am literally begging you to fight for your rights to these treatments. Do not stand by and just give in to it. This is wrong and we need to do something about it. We cannot expect America to be outraged if we do not say something! Kevin and I will be meeting with CBS several times to keep telling our story. We encourage you to do the same! Let’s let the world hear; we are being denied the treatments we need which impacts our ability to have a family. People will throw their two cents in and maybe even be cruel and hurt your feelings. However, change can happen. When more people get access to needed fertility treatments, it will all be worth it. I promise; it is worth it. So let’s all stand together, regardless what caused the infertility and say “This is not okay and we will no longer accept it!”
What can you do to help?
-Write to your Representatives
–Click here to learn about current bills sitting in Congress and fight to get them passed!
-Get involved with RESOLVE (visit http://www.resolve.org)
-Contact your News companies, tell them your story and tell them you want to share it in an effort to get legislation to pass!
-Write to your local paper