Niki and Fred Trusty were married in 2007 after they'd been a couple for five years. They began trying to have a baby from the day of their wedding, but by May of 2009, the Ocoee, Fla.; couple had shelled out thousands of dollars on gynecologists' bills with no baby to show for their effort and expense. They decided to give in vitro fertilization (IVF) a try, even though they knew it would be expensive.
IVF costs run from $10,000 to $15,000 for each attempt and none of it would be covered by the Trusty's insurance. Meantime, the couple decided to attend a yearly conference called Paths to Parenthood.
The Orlando-based conference is organized by Fertile Dreams, a local nonprofit organization that helps promote building families through fertility treatments and adoption. The charity raffles off a unique prize at each annual conference: a single cycle of IVF treatment. Most, though not all of the winners' expenses are covered. Fred calculated the odds and decided to buy a ticket. But then he got carried away and bought 20 tickets to the tune of $500. Three days after purchasing the tickets, the Trusty's found out they'd won the lottery. Only two months later, after her very first attempt at IVF, Niki conceived!
There was some luck involved outside of being the lucky winners of the raffle. The physician harvested 18 eggs from Niki. Fifteen were deemed suitable for fertilization, but five days later, only two eggs were still viable. The physician implanted both of them into Niki's womb. One made it, and became Harrison Trusty, a son.
Their physician Mark Trolice, a specialist in reproductive endocrinologist and infertility knew just how blessed the couple felt. Though Trolice had already chosen his specialty before he married, as it turned out, he and his wife had trouble conceiving. They were one of the one in every eight couples who turn out to be infertile.
Trolice and his wife tried to conceive over a period of 10 years while they suffered from every imaginable complication including miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. Trolice said he'd listen to his patients cry all day over their inability to conceive, and then he'd come home and cry with his wife in the evenings. Today, the couple has five adopted kids.
It was Dr. Trolice's own journey in infertility that made him feel he wanted to do something to help others and so he started Fertile Dreams. The charity offers information, the IVF raffle, and $30,000 in grants each year for three couples to use for IVF treatment anywhere within the U.S.