“I am sorry, but you will very likely never have kids of your own.” Those are the words David heard from his treating physician after a semen analysis in the summer of 2012. To say the least, David was devastated and could not help but ask, “Why me?” Not being one to give up easily, David underwent additional testing that discovered a varicocele, which David’s physician believed to be part of the problem causing his extremely low morphology. After a minor medical procedure to repair the varicocele, the “infertile” diagnosis was upgraded to “sub-fertile.” While David would still not be able to father children naturally, there was hope that with infertility treatments, parenthood was now a possibility. Soon however, David’s wife, Jen, was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) in the summer of 2013. This complicated their infertility journey to the point that their treating physician told them that the combination of David’s “sub-fertile” diagnosis and Jen’s PCOS diagnosis made having kids without IVF virtually impossible.
In David’s opinion, there is nothing worse than seeing a loved one in pain. David could handle his own infertility diagnosis, but seeing Jen in pain throughout their infertility journey was something on a whole other level. David knew at that moment, he needed to be there for Jen. David attended every doctor appointment. Administered every shot. He even created an infertility dance to Katy Perry’s “Roar” to alleviate some of the pressure. It was no longer about him, but about Jen and THEIR journey together. With this support, Jen and David overcame their own personal infertility diagnoses, three negative IUIs, one egg retrieval, a severe case of Ovarian Hyper-stimulation Syndrome, and two negative frozen embryo transfers. In January 2015, all was worth it when their twins, Logan and Violet, were born.
After Logan and Violet were born, David and Jen wanted to flip the script about infertility. Despite infertility affecting 1 out of 8 couples, it is a disease that is rarely discussed openly and, because only 15 states recognize infertility as a disease, most infertility patients do not have insurance coverage to pay for treatment. David and Jen created Parental Hope to raise awareness about infertility and to provide emotional and financial support to couples battling infertility. Specifically, David focuses on supporting men who have either received their own infertility diagnosis or need help supporting their partner during their infertility journey. David wants all men to know that “infertility does not define you as a man. What defines you as a man is how you react to an infertility diagnosis and how you support your loved one who is on the infertility journey with you. So long as you continue to fight, support your partner and never lose HOPE, anything is possible.”