by Fenella Das Gupta, PH.D., Neuroscience
The Campaign Ad:
“ We started off like most other couples. First we dated, then we married, and then started talking about having a baby. One baby would make our family complete but, we’ve recently been diagnosis of Infertility. We feel totally lost, completely overwhelmed by this diagnosis that we don’t fully understand, and intimidated by the cost of all the medical procedures.
We consider ourselves to be ordinary folk- the 99 per cent- honest hard working folk. Without your help we won’t be able to begin this journey. With your help, our dream might come true. Below is the plan, we hope to be able to stop after step one, but may have to continue through to surrogacy. Can you help us please? If everyone donated a dollar, that sure would be great!
First step: Surgery to fix a blocked fallopian tube
Success rate: between 10 and 90 percent of women who have their tubes cleared conceive.
Cost: $3,000 to $10,000.
Second step: fertility drug, clomiphene treatment. Three months of treatment.
Success rates: Between 20 to 60 percent of women with (artificial insemination) get pregnant.
Cost: Clomiphene roughly $50/month (not including the cost of doctors' visits, or artificial insemination*).
* $300 to $700.
Third Step: In vitro fertilization
Success rates: Between 28 and 35 percent of women who try in vitro fertilization conceive
Cost: $8,000 to $15,000
Note: works better with Intracytoplasmic Sperm injection (ICSI), - a single sperm injected into a single egg $10,000 to $17,000.
If none of the above works, we ‘ll try donor eggs:
Cost: $10,000 to $20,000 for IVF with a donor egg or embryo (including compensation for the donor)
…And if that doesn’t work, our last option is a Gestational carrier/surrogate mothers
Success rates: Unavailable.
Cost: Anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000. (About $12,000 goes to the surrogate mother. The rest goes to legal fees set by lawyers and agencies.)”
By the way, if you’re wondering why we don’t adopt, well, for some health reasons, we wouldn’t qualify.
This kind of campaign ad is becoming more visible on the crowd funding internet site IndieGoGo.com which has the catchy slogan ‘Go fund yourself’. The co-founder, Slava Rubin states "We're open to any campaign, any idea, anywhere in the world," and as long as the project is neither pornographic nor illegal, it's accepted.
Many consider crowd funding (using money or ‘funding’ raised from the public or ‘crowd’ to support private firms) as the next biggest thing. But as a concept, it’s been around for centuries with roots lying in Philanthropy.
The novelty now rests in how drawing in a crowd is done; the internet gives the concept a new momentum. Campaigns on Twitter and on Facebook, with a retweet or “share” — together with one easy online payment puts these ventures on the fast track to “Kerching”.
Fertility treatment is an expensive venture with little or no coverage by health care insurance in many states. It’s likely that this is what causes couples to go online and ask for help in this manner.
The Big question:
Would you donate to this kind of Campaign? A Friends or stranger’s?
Or do you find something off-putting in raising money for such a personal cause?
Certainly without personal experience or counseling countless couples who simply can’t afford treatment and watch their pain, I might’ve declined to donate. But with knowledge, I know that in giving, I receive:
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”- John Holmes.