Couples turn to crowdfunding to cover fertility treatment - CBS46 News

Couples turn to crowdfunding to cover fertility treatment costs

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Trisha and Avi Hernandez are all too familiar with the baby waiting game.

"We thought it was going to be, 'hey, look at me,' and get pregnant - you know, you hear people say that all the time, but it's been almost three years now."

Three years and three surgeries to help her conceive and it still hasn't happened.

The couple is one of 6 million in America that is struggling with infertility and the bills are mounting.

"The financial side of it, very stressful - having to move stuff around and figure out what do we pay now, what do we do? Let's sacrifice here and there," Trisha said.

So the couple decided to share their story on the fundraising website GoFundMe, and in just a few months, they are well on their way to raising $10,650 for in vitro fertilization, or IVF.

"It's not a flu shot. It's still a big, complicated medical procedure," explained the couples' doctor, Joe Massey, MD.

The costs of IVF average $12,400 per round and the odds of success are only 40 percent.

"Forty percent isn't 90 percent, so a lot of people have to go through in vitro more than once," said Massey.

With little or no help from insurance companies, many couples are turning to crowdfunding sites to fill the gap.

Since GoFundMe launched in 2010, more than $310 million have been raised. The medical category is the most popular, the average goal being around $10,000, but users can solicit money for almost anything, from service trips to college tuition.

"Every time we get another dollar we're just like, wow, we can't believe it, somebody else is helping," said Hernandez.

"There's basically no donation too small. Five dollars - that's $5 that somebody could have bought a gallon of milk for their children," said another crowd-fundraiser, Shirelle Armstrong.

She and her husband, Frank, have also struggled with infertility for years. They're trying to raise $25,000 on GoFundMe for a treatment program called Attain IVF.

"We don't talk about a baby, we talk about Brooklyn because that's the baby's name - boy or girl," she said.

Having raised about $2,800 so far, the couple still has a long way to go to reach their goal, but they're not losing hope.

"It's just overwhelming and a blessing to see people actually care, especially in this world."

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