Courtney and Thomas grew up in Kansas and met in 2003 at their local community college. Falling in love at a young age, Courtney traveled to Boston with Thomas to finish their college degrees and then to Texas Tech where Thomas earned his Certificate in Ethics. Residing in Pennsylvania for the past 5 years, Thomas is working towards earning is Ph.D. in philosophy while his job on behalf of women and children affected by cultures of violence takes him traveling around the world. Courtney has become a music teacher at a local school and offers private lessons on the side. Pursuing their careers and enjoying married life, they decided to wait until Courtney turned 30 to start trying to get pregnant.
As the only grandchild on both sides of her family, Courtney naturally felt pressure to have children of her own. For a few months Courtney and Thomas tried to conceive without assistance. Courtney then went to her OB/GYN for testing that showed alarmingly low AMH (anti-Müllerian hormone) level. The AMH test is one of the most important predictors of a woman’s egg supply. For a woman like Courtney, who is under 35 and in good health, this finding was enough to send them straight to Shady Grove Fertility and Sunita Kulshrestha, M.D. for treatment.
Courtney’s medical insurance helped cover six cycles of IUI treatment, but sadly none resulted in a pregnancy. With student loan debt obligations Courtney and Thomas weren’t able to move immediately to in vitro fertilization (IVF) so Courtney’s nurse suggested she look at the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, a Shady Grove Fertility partner, who provides grants for fertility treatment or domestic adoption.
In June 2016, Courtney met some of the Cade community at the group’s annual Run for the Family. While Thomas was out of town on a business trip, Courtney submitted her application for a Cade Grant.
Struggling with infertility has been difficult for Courtney and Thomas but a support system is now in place to help them along their journey. At the school Courtney teaches she’s part of a network of women who share their experiences with infertility and remain there for one another during the hard moments. Courtney says that she’s usually a private person but the encouragement and understanding from her peers has been a wonderful surprise.
As the proud and thankful recipients of a Cade Grant, Courtney and Thomas can now proceed to IVF treatment. They plan to begin their first cycle springtime 2017. Stay tuned to hear more about their story.
Both portions of the Cade Grant application (as well as the medical history forms) must be received by February 1 for the Spring grant review and July 1st for the Fall Grant Review. Grant decisions for SPRING funding will be announced on June 1, 2017.
About the Cade Foundation
A long-time partner of SGF, the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation is a non-profit organization that serves the needs of families battling infertility. Through education and outreach, the Foundation supports families struggling with infertility and strives to educate outside communities about relevant and related issues. In addition, the Cade Foundation provides financial assistance to families pursuing infertility treatment or domestic adoption through their Family Building Grant worth up to $10,000. This dual support approach distinguishes the Foundation as the only organization of its kind in the nation.
SGF physician, Frank Chang, M.D., has served on the Cade Foundation Board of Trustees since the Foundation's inception. SGF physician Jason Bromer, M.D., also serves on the Board of Trustees, as well as Melissa Esposito, M.D., and Stephanie Beall, M.D., Ph.D., serve on the Foundation's Advisory Council.