BENEFITING: AGC SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION INC
ORGANIZER: AGC SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION INC
EVENT DATE: Aug 16, 2015
It is a bittersweet experience to be part of the Angry Girls Club (AGC) which Declan and I will be running in honor of on July 3rd in the Harvard Pilgrim, Finish at the 50 at Gillette Stadium. The Angry Girls Club is a tight knit group which provides emotional support for those dealing with Infertility but also financial scholarships for those that pay out of pocket for the pricey medical treatments. After running 10 marathons some may think that a 10k is nothing for me but running a 10K after picking myself up from our fourth miscarriage has been and will be harder than any other 26.2 miles I have faced in the past. Luckily, I will not be running this race alone and Declan will be running his first race and is registered for the 100 yard dash that day which will take place on the Gillette Stadium field. It will be amazing to run this race with our first miracle in hopes, honor and determination for a second miracle. Loving each of our own siblings as much as we do we are determined as a family not to give up the fight to provide Declan with a sister or brother. Infertility and AGC has many facts and stats which I could share with you but I would rather share the more personal side and our journey as the Cullen family as well as a thank you to the board members of AGC through my letter to a "Future Angry Girls Club Member"...
Dear Future Member of AGC,
You probably thought you would never be part of a FB group that provides emotional support (and so much more) for dealing with infertility. You did everything in life you were suppose to do- you got an education, got married, traveled and then decided to have a child. Like everything else in life you had a plan and you worked hard to achieve the goals you set for yourself in that plan. So why is this plan not working and why do you have no control over what is "not" happening? That is one question you may never know the answer to and neither will the girls in the Angry Girls Club. But what the AGC girls will know is how to comfort you, just how each medication you are prescribed will make you feel both physically and emotionally, how the latest FB pregnancy announcement burned inside of you and just when to reach out to you and ask you how you are doing.
I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason and all of my friends and family know that I try to live by this saying. When I first started my infertility journey and had my first loss my family would tell me there is a reason for this and this is happening for a reason beyond you. I wanted so hard to believe that but all I saw was the anger and the monster it was turning me into. It wasn't until I joined the AGC group that the reason I was so longing to find started to show itself. This disease needed a voice, it needed strength and most of all it needed hope! I certainly did not bring that to the group or the disease at first but with the help of the AGC board members I could not help but to catch the contagious spirit of bravery and everything that the word embraced which each one of them exhibited through their actions, voice and faith.
As you go through this journey your marriage will become stronger but not in a way you would ever imagine or want. You will leave mascara marks on your husband's shoulder from crying on it when all you wanted to do was leave the ultrasound room holding his hand and celebrating. Or the night you will have to make it home by 9p.m. for yet another shot in the butt. You will be scared to get another one as your butt is already aching from the prior nights, your husband will also be scared because he is not a doctor or a nurse but yet in charge of administrating evening shots. Your husband will not show his fear of potentially hitting a nerve or your hipbone because he wants to be strong for you. You will come to the point when you realize your husband is human just like you and although he has caught every tear of yours that came from your broken heart and has emotionally felt every needle that has gone through your body that he is hurting just as much. You will not want to put your pain on top of his own any more but who else can you reach out to with out having to explain every single detail of what you are going through because they won't understand other wise. I will tell you now, turn to your AGC girls. Those girls will be part of what makes your marriage stronger and getting through this process together as a couple. One Saturday morning as my husband headed out to play in his basketball league and use his outlet I was at home wondering what could I eat, drink or do myself right now to make my body work? Within just a few minutes I got my answer and it wasn't from eating a whole pineapple, drinking a full glass of pomegranate juice or even doing an hour of yoga, it was from checking the text message that just came in on my phone. With only a week out from the gala, carrying twins and managing her own growing family, April (AGC Founder and President) had texted me asking how I was doing, where my treatment was? At that point that is all I needed (forget the Brazilian nuts!) With going through so much of her own she was thinking of me on a Saturday morning. Someone who has and had been where I am and made it through on top! Her ability to think of others and willingness to share her knowledge from experience so I could learn from it made me remember again it is not just about me, there is a greater reason for all of this. I aspire to give back like the AGC board members did and use my journey to help you. To be the voice that the disease needs to move forward in research and awareness, be the strength for the married couple just starting their journey, and be the hope for that woman who is pondering at home the status of her own health, self-confidence and life dreams of starting a family.
Because of all this I will always be an AGC member. When you join I will be there. I promise to share with you my ups and downs and send you that Saturday morning text message. We will get through this together and be sharing stories about our growing family no matter what approach you take to create that family. One day we will meet by accident on a Saturday night at a family restaurant (Bugaboo Creek.) You will be sitting at a long table with your family and I will be coming in with mine. The best part about this accidental meeting is not that we will be drinking the fanciest of wine or eating the priciest Prime Rib (because they do not serve that at a family restaurant on a Saturday night) it will be that we are both there with our families which now include children and we wouldn’t want to be any where else. It will be what we both longed and fought so much for and will always cherish. I hope you get there because one of the AGC members told you it was worth the fight just like the girls did for me! With that being said welcome to the club you never wanted to be part of but for reasons that may not seem clear now welcome to a club that will make you never want to leave.
"The greatest trait of a mother is her ability to fight for her children whether they are physically here or not, keep fighting"
Keeping the Hope,
Our Facts and Stats:
- 1 Clomid Cycle
- 5 IUIs
- 4 Miscarriages
- 1 Corrective Surgery
- 1 IVF and getting ready for another 1 VF with Genetic Testing
- 1 Live Birth on 05/28/2013
- Over $200,00 in medical bills covered by our insurance, this is rare and we are blessed that our insurance continues to cover us today
- A few thousand dollars out of pocket expense
- 100% Hope, Determination & Faith
The Fact and Stats:
AGC Scholarship Foundation provides financial assistance to couples dealing with infertility in the US. Infertility is a disease that is often misunderstood - relaxing, drinking wine or "just adopting" doesn't cure many diseases and infertility is not an exception. Currently there are only 15 states with mandates in place that require insurance to cover treatment or portions of treatments. The average cost for treatment is $12,500 - and that's just for one cycle. Fertility preservation is an option for those diagnosed with cancer. AGC Scholarship Foundation is dedicated to all in the infertility community regardless of diagnoses, marital status, gender or race. The Hope Scholarship can be used for artificial insemination, egg and sperm donation, egg freezing, in vitro fertilization, embryo donation, gestational surrogacy and adoption.