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Archive for the ‘Free IVF Contest’ tag

Surviving Infertility in a Hurricane

By Tracey Minella

August 29th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Mother Nature can be a real b*tch.

Right on the heels of a ridiculously rare earthquake this week came the almost as rare hurricane on Long Island this weekend. What’s next? Locusts?

And while you guys snickered at my earthquake post (yes, I heard you), the impending hurricane actually did get your attention. At least one patient used our social media platforms to ask if the embryos are safe in a hurricane. And I’m sure many others wondered in silence.

Now to get the full effect here, you need to imagine me in a raincoat beside the shoreline, being pelted by gusting winds and rain, like any good storm reporter. Ready?

“Hello folks, this is Tracey Minella with East Coast Fertility News, reporting live from Plainview, New York, where throngs of infertility patients awaiting Hurricane Irene’s arrival are wondering if their embryos will be safe from the storm.

Despite the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency and evacuation orders, I’m standing here in a puddle up to my waist in the ECF parking lot. Right behind me is the Long Island Expressway which is totally dark and deserted except for a scattering of disabled cars.

That blaring beacon of light in the distance is coming from the ECF facility that houses the embryology lab down on Old Country Road… obviously glowing from its back up generator automatically kicking in. [Crowd erupts in applause] Now back to you in the studio.”

As we learn from the casualties in every natural disaster that even the best back-up plans don’t offer guaranteed immunity from harm due to Acts of God, you can take comfort that ECF has plans and procedures in effect designed to safeguard and offer heightened protection to your precious cargo in such precarious circumstances.

In a coincidental strike of stress-reducing good timing, the IVF lab is on a scheduled break from retrievals and transfers until September 7th. But in the event this hurricane (or any yet to come) caused major and prolonged power outages in ECF offices, patients needing an IUI or other time-sensitive or essential medical services could be accommodated in ECF’s generator-powered facility on Old Country Road.

In other words, ECF’s got your back.

There has been no disruption to services at ECF from Hurricane Irene and all offices are open for their regular business hours and services.

In the event of another hurricane, feel free to call the ECF office or service for further instructions and/or information from the medical and support staff. They will be happy to help you. Not just this week, not just this hurricane season, but always.

And check the website, blog and facebook for updates as well. We will post them so long as cable/internet service is not interrupted. Better yet, why not "Like" us on facebook right now, so you can receive and access important weather-related or other updates even faster?

Hope you all are safe and did not have much damage from Irene.

Be sure to check back this Thursday when we post the three lucky winners of the video contest!!!! Then again next Tuesday when the free micro-IVF cycle winner is announced!

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Feel free to share your storm experience with us here.

I’ll start things off:  I have a huge tree on my den roof and believe the effects of no internet or facebook access for two days will haunt me for years after that tree is removed.

How about you?

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Infertility and the Genie

By Tracey Minella

August 5th, 2011 at 9:16 am

Once upon a time, there was a couple suffering from infertility. They felt alone as they observed the fertile world from the outside, like kids on the wrong side of the locked playground fence.

They paid a king’s ransom for potions designed to bring them the baby they desperately wanted, but nothing worked.

Then one day, while walking through the woods to get some water from the well (there’s always a well in the woods in these stories), the couple came upon a pee stick on the ground.

The woman, seeing it hadn’t been used, rubbed it and..poof! Out comes a genie. Sort of.

Startled, the woman excitedly says without taking a breath, “Oh thank God. I can’t believe it. Three wishes. Well, I only have one…I want to have a baby! So genie, make me pregnant!”

With that, the Genie replies “Has anything good ever come to you from a pee stick before? I ain’t that kind of genie. I’m actually just an apprentice genie. You get one wish. Oh, and it can be anything EXCEPT to be pregnant.”

You #$#@% useless genie”, snarled the woman. Then she figured that she’d better take advantage of the opportunity given to her to ask for something that could somehow make her quest for a baby go more smoothly, more quickly. Something that would help her to reach her goal of getting pregnant since this pee stick genie could not just blink her pregnant.

So ladies…imagine I am your pee stick genie. (Hey, I’ve been called worse.)What would you ask for if I could grant you one wish? What can ECF do for you to help you get to your goal? How can we solve a problem or ease a burden on your journey? Is it something emotional? Physical? Financial?

What would you ask for? We are listening for ways to help you. You asked for a guys group and we made one.  We’re offering contests with ways to enter anonymously. For those who don’t enter, why don’t you? Would you prefer something else? Let us know.

What’s in the way of you having a baby and how can we remove that obstacle?

Your wish is my command.

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Oprah Finale: No Big Loss to Infertile Women

By Tracey A. Minella

May 25th, 2011 at 12:00 am

Relax Oprah lovers. I’m not saying this larger than life woman did not leave a major imprint (and footprint) on society over the last 25 years. She’s been arguably the most influential and successful American woman on the planet. Her incredible generosity has helped people the world over.

But she hasn’t championed the cause of infertile women during the last quarter century… and she could have. There was so much power and influence and charitable dollars at hand, but the consensus seems to be that the pain of the infertile woman was not high on her agenda.

First, she covered the topic pretty infrequently on her national show over the course of twenty five years. And when she did, I think she often disappointed the infertile women in her audience. What a shame that she squandered the opportunity to spotlight infertility in a productive way to huge audiences of women who would likely have done anything Oprah asked of them…from writing legislators, to considering being egg donors, surrogates or gestational carriers, to well…reading a book on how to be a supportive and sensitive friend to infertile couples.

She’s been called insensitive for glossing over Jenna’s post-IVF miscarriage in “Thirty Something in America”.  And simply naming an episode “Wombs for Rent” shows a lack of respect to surrogates and gestational carriers. It’s cold. 

People remember in a mostly negative way the show about surrogates/ gestational carriers in India, and how Martha Stewart was financing her daughter’s IVF attempts to the tune of $28,000/month. Wow, who couldn’t relate to that? I mean, don’t we all have parents footing our IVF mega bills? Really, Oprah? You probably had every infertile woman in America tuning in for words of wisdom and support, and valuable information on infertility. Who do you think benefited from that segment?

A show on sperm donation failed to include representatives from sperm banks or attorneys representing anonymous donors’ rights. Instead, it presented a one-sided position which heavily favored the right of the offspring to know the donor’s identity over the rights of the donor and recipient for donor anonymity in accordance with the agreement under which the specimen was obtained. The interests of all parties…offspring, donor and recipient…should have been fully examined and given equal importance. But that doesn’t always make for good ratings. I guess its okay to frighten off potential donors by worrying them that the anonymity under which they donate may disappear. Wonder how low the sperm bank supplies plunged after that show?

And I thought her show with Suzy Orman and the Octomom was more like Jerry or Montel. People on internet forums openly and harshly criticized Oprah for what’s been described as bullying a woman of questionable mental capacity. Those who missed it can only imagine how bad it was if the woman most of America thought was vile came out as sympathetic! Some viewers claimed they’d never watch her again after that show. Not that Oprah would miss them.

Maybe Oprah couldn’t help letting down the infertile women. She’s chosen to live child-free, which is fine, of course. She just doesn’t “get” us and our selfless, burning maternal needs. Which is too bad for us, because if she’d been so inclined, she could have really made a difference.

Imagine if she did a show with top REs from all over America, and every audience member was an infertile woman. And then imagine at the end, when they reached under their seats, there’d be a gift certificate for a free IVF cycle. Maybe I missed that episode?

What a difference a free IVF cycle would make in a woman’s life. Better than cars and trips to the Outback, that’s for sure. East Coast Fertility is holding a series of contests right now, in which one woman will win the grand prize of a free Micro-IVF cycle. Imagine doing this on an Oprah-sized scale?

Oprah, if you’re listening, it’s not too late to change the lives of infertile women. You can make this right. We can help.

With your financial support, we’d be happy to set up a scholarship, grant program, or other such fund to benefit infertile women. Just have your people call our people…if we had people.

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How do you think Oprah’s show influenced the interests of infertile women? Did she help them or hurt them or have no effect? Maybe I missed something really great that she did for the infertile population and someone can tell me and I’ll reconsider my opinion of her as a great and charitable woman who fell short in a key area?

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Happy National Infertility Awareness Week

By Tracey Minella

April 27th, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Well, there’s an oxymoron for you. Nothing should begin with the word “happy” and include the word “infertility”, if you ask me. And yes, I know…you didn’t ask me. But having been an IVF patient and a medical assistant in Dr. Kreiner’s practice, and now the primary writer of ECF’s blog, The Fertility Daily,, I have a unique perspective on infertility-related things. And if you know me from the blog, you already know I like to share.

Starting with the fact that for the infertility patient, every single minute of every freakin day is    Infertility Awareness Day.  So, giving us just a week is kind of insulting. Don’t you think?

So, how do we mark this week? Even Hallmark doesn’t have a card for this occasion…yet. And it certainly doesn’t seem like a celebration is in order, right? No one’s boss is sending flowers or candy. If the boss even knows.

Which brings me to the next conundrum about this week: How do we call attention to “our week” when so many of us haven’t even told our closest friends and family that we’re suffering from infertility yet?

In fact, many patients understandably go to incredible lengths just to keep the boss and co-workers in the dark, for reasons ranging from unfounded but real embarrassment to the fear of losing their jobs…and insurance benefits…upon discovery of their “secret”.

No one can understand the intensity and rawness of the range of emotions of an infertility patient … unless they are an infertility patient. Not your mother, your doctor, your best friend, or even your spouse. It’s something only you can feel the true depths of.  And calling attention to this week may not make you feel better. But it is necessary. Why?

Over the years, raising awareness of infertility has ever so slowly resulted in increased insurance coverage and benefits, and more grant programs to defer some of the costs of treatment. In addition, it has enabled IVF offices to reach out and offer opportunities to the community for discounted or free treatments, such as East Coast Fertility’s current contest.

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, ECF is kicking off a contest where five winners (one each day of NIAW 4/25-4/29) will each receive a copy of Jodi Picoult’s new infertility-themed bestseller, Sing Him Home, plus a spa finder gift card! And that’s not all…each of the five winners will be eligible to win the grand prize of a FREE MICRO-IVF CYCLE. Complete rules are posted on the ECF facebook page, ECF website, The Fertility Daily blog and ECF’s face of fertility forum. It’s our way of showing how much our patients mean.

Raising awareness has also helped patients find blogs and support groups to help them through this journey, so please consider “liking” ECF on facebook, or at least bookmarking the blog.

And just as National Infertility Awareness Week will come and go, so too will this journey you are on. Even if it seems never-ending at times. It will end.

And because we raise infertility awareness, the technology gets better every day, and your chances for a happy ending get better daily, too.

Well, look at that…a sentence with the words “happy” and “infertility” in it. Things are looking up.


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