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Pay It Forward Fertility – Megan’s Story


Fifteen years ago, Megan and Dan traveled to Lucca, Italy for work.  While they had only been dating for a few months, they knew they were going to be together forever.  It was there that they began talking about their dream of a child.  A child that would be named after the beautiful city where they truly fell in love, Lucca.

In the summer of 2006, the couple began trying to have a baby.  Having a child turned out to be not as easy as they thought it would be.  They tried everything from ovulation kits, fertility watches, homeopathic doctors and fertility specialists from around the country.

The Cause of Infertility

The cause of Megan’s infertility stemmed from when she was a freshman in high school.  She had a surgery to remove an ovarian cyst that was the size of a grapefruit.  In doing so, they had to take a portion of her right ovary.  At the time the doctors were so thrilled to tell her that it was not cancerous but what they didn’t realize at the time was that the shock of the surgery put her body into a premenopausal state.

They tried several cycles of intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatment, however, after years of trying to conceive, they were finally told that IVF alone would not work for them and the only way that we could have a family was through IVF with donor egg.

A Chance Encounter

Megan explains, “At first, I honestly didn’t know how I felt about donor egg.  I found it so difficult to talk about so I found myself researching…and researching.  Until one day it was as if a switch flipped as I read an online blog.  I ran in to tell my husband, ‘…an egg is just an egg without my blood, without my oxygen, without your sperm to fertilize it.  That we were making that egg into an embryo.  We were giving life to that baby.’”

As luck would have it, shortly after that, Megan’s father spoke with a friend that had been told he would never have a child.  It wasn’t until another doctor told him about a place that might be able to help him.  A place called Shady Grove Fertility.  After watching their friend glow as he spoke about his beautiful daughter, a daughter he was told he would never have had it not been for the help of Shady Grove Fertility, Megan began researching the center.

That research brought them to a news story about Shady Grove Fertility Center’s donor egg program.  The fertility center was offering a free donor egg seminar near her home in Philadelphia, PA.  Megan attended and was awestruck by the science behind treatment and encouraged by the success rates and financial programs.  At the end of the day, Megan and Dan made the decision to seek treatment with Dr. Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility.

Megan explains, “We were very happy with our current fertility specialist.  But the moment that the elevator doors opened at Shady Grove, I turned to my husband and said, “THIS is where babies are made…”

Preparing for Donor Egg Treatment

Megan and Dan prepared for treatment by reviewing available donors and planning financially.  Insurance did not cover any of their expenses and so they submitted grant applications to every fertility foundation that they could find.  Dr. Levens wrote letters to support their case to every single one.

“It had been a long road for us, as it is for most couples that face infertility… but we were finally at the place where we were ready to pick our egg donor and looking forward to getting started,” says Megan.

That’s was in October 2012, just days before Hurricane Sandy approached the East Coast.

Accidental Fate

“They say it is always darkest before the dawn… That week we were reminded of just that.” said Megan. On Monday, Hurricane Sandy hit.  On Wednesday, as the horrible devastation to the East Coast was unveiled, Megan realized that her childhood home was destroyed.  “The home was a place that held some of my most cherished memories,” said Megan. “A place where I felt a sense of peace and comfort, was suddenly gone.”

Yet that very same day we had such a ray of hope within a very sad time.  Megan’s donor was matched to her.

The next day, her parents were admitted to their neighborhood to take pictures for insurance purposes.   “It was an incredibly hard day on my parents,” said Megan.  “My mom was incredibly strong.  After realizing that day that her house was considered a total loss, she just said… ‘We will hold onto the memories and make even more when we rebuild.  We are okay and that is all that matters.’”

Pay it Forward Fertility logoMegan went on, “As my mom was talking, I noticed our landline ringing, of course I didn’t pick up, and then my cell began to ring, and when I looked at the caller ID, I realized that I recognized the number.  It was the name that I had addressed a grant application to for Pay It Forward!  I remember thinking after so many emails saying that we didn’t get all of the previous grants, why would this grant call?  I quickly answered and it was Lori Moscato from Pay it Forward Fertility.  She called to tell us that we were just awarded an $8000 grant to use toward fertility treatment!!  You can’t imagine hearing such news at such a sad time!  We couldn’t stop crying!!”

And Megan is already paying it forward.  She recently spoke at another Shady Grove Fertility Center donor egg seminar in Philadelphia.  She was able to share with the attendees that she was once in their seats, wondering how they were going to mentally prepare for treatment, how were they going to pay for treatment, how were they going to complete their families?

Megan is happy to share her story.  As she explains, “My story is not over yet, but I have faith that it will have a happy ending.”

Pay it Forward – Fertility Grant

Shady Grove Fertility is partnering with Pay it Forward Fertility Foundation to fund a fertility grant for one patient who will receive care at Shady Grove Fertility.

Shady Grove Fertility is kicking off the fundraising effort with a $1,000 contribution.

Help us pay it forward by:

  1. Liking us on Facebook. For every new like, Shady Grove Fertility will donate $5 to the Pay It Forward Fertility Foundation.
  2. Donating. Donations can be made directly to the help increase value of the SGF grant.
  3. Apply for the grant. Deadline is Dec 1st. Go online now to download the application.

If you would like to make a New Patient Appointment with a fertility specialist, please click here to call 1-877-971-7755.

Our Partners in Fertility Care

Pay it Forward Fertility logoMandell's Pharmacy



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