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Helping Hands – Raising Awareness about Infertility

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Kansas City Infertility Awareness Foundation: Raising Awareness About Infertility

What if you dreamed of being a mother, but in your 20s found out you had the eggs of a 45-year-old? Or, what if your husband dreamed of being a father, but discovered after 4 years of marriage that his body produces absolutely no sperm? These are heartbreaking and lonely questions to answer. Approximately 1 in 7 couples must face a similar situation when their family building efforts do not result in pregnancy. Infertility, a disease of the reproductive system, is diagnosed after 1 year of trying to conceive unsuccessfully. One-third of infertility is attributed to male factors, and one-third is attributed to female factors. In about 20 percent of cases, infertility is unexplained, and the remaining 10 percent of infertility is caused by a combination of problems in both partners. In 2009, 4 Kansas City-area women, Allison Spencer, Nicolle Hays, Meagan Stach and Tami Reinhard, were brought together by their individual struggles to build a family. They began to support each other and determined no other person in the Kansas City area would ever have to walk this path alone. In 2011, they established the Kansas City Infertility Awareness Foundation (KCIA), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

KCIA provides education, support and hope to those struggling to build a family and their loved ones. Myths and assumptions abound regarding infertility and adoption. KCIA strives to combat these myths and assumptions through a variety of formats: seminars, conferences and support group meetings. Quarterly seminars and an annual Family Building Conference in April are organized to provide knowledge and support so those dealing with infertility can make well-informed choices to grow their families. At the annual conference, professionals in the infertility and adoption communities come together in a central location so attendees can learn all of the available family-building options and meet many of the professionals to discover the best plan. Sessions such as Infertility 101, Adoption, In-Vitro Fertilization, and Miscarriage are offered each year. In addition to the annual conference, individuals gain knowledge and support by attending the quarterly seminars and monthly support group meetings. When attendees walk away from support group meetings and events, they feel so much relief just from being surrounded by others who truly understand this infertility journey. They find the strength to move forward, learn new family-building options to pursue, and gain lifelong friends.

Currently, KCIA is in the process of creating the Family Building Grant to assist local families with the costs associated with medical infertility treatments and/or adoption. Fundraising efforts are on-going throughout the year. On October 4, 2015, the inaugural Path to Parenthood 5K took place.

To help bring all of these events and services to the Kansas City area, an advisory board of 15 passionate women strive to raise awareness about infertility and helping others grow their families. For more information about the Kansas City Infertility Awareness Foundation or how to become involved or seek support, go to