Victory over infertility: Sister donates eggs

It was a devastating diagnosis for Amanda Kendzierski and her husband Chad.  At the age of 27, Amanda was diagnosed with premature menopause.

"It basically meant I had little to no chance of getting pregnant naturally. I was crushed; I had wanted to be a mom my whole life," says Amanda.

Her husband Chad said, “It was devastating for us spiritually.  Our marriage took a hit for a while.”

But Amanda and Chad were determined to be parents, and began researching their options.

“I had called my sister and she volunteered,” says Amanda.

Amanda’s sister Lindsay says, “Yeah, there wasn’t a second guess about it. It was just what I was going to do.”

Lindsay donated nearly 30 eggs.

“We had to speak to lawyers and a psychiatrist to make sure we were of sound mind and I knew what I was giving up,” says Lindsay.

Using her sister’s donated eggs, Amanda carried and gave birth to a beautiful little girl, Grace.  Grace is now 5 years old.

“It’s the ultimate gift you can't ever repay that kind of gift but because of it we're super close and Lindsay and Grace are super close," says Amanda.

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But the whole process wasn’t easy for anyone and it was very expensive.

The Kendzierski’s took out a second mortgage on their home.  Insurance would not cover the costs.

Amanda says, “They would have covered it if it was my egg but because it was a donor even though I legally adopted those eggs, they wouldn't cover it.”

That’s where the Cade Foundation came in. The Tinina Q. Cade Foundation provides support and financial assistance to help families overcome infertility.

Dr. Camille Hammond co-founded the Cade Foundation and is CEO. She knows all too well the struggle many families like the Kendzierski’s face. 

You might remember her story. It made national headlines 10 years ago when her mother carried her triplets.

"She was able to do something at 55 that I wasn't able to do in my twenties but we really believe our children came to us the way they were supposed to," says Hammond.

Dr. Hammond wants families to know they have options. And in the Baltimore area especially, there are great resources.

"I feel like we are in a fertility mecca, there are so many fantastic clinics in our area and so many resources,” says Hammond.

Last week, some of the most recognized fertility specialists from around the country gathered in Charm City for a conference.  Some of those same experts stopped by to speak at the Cade Foundation’s Mini-Symposium at the University of Maryland called, “Overcoming Infertility.”

"What we want to do is let people know about different options, but also let them know the different financial support that's available,” say Hammond.

Since 2005, the Cade Foundation has given out 55 grants to families, helping them on their journey to expand their family.  Amanda and Chad were one of those families and are now sharing their story as a way to help others.

“I guess when other people are aware of your situation maybe they’re more inclined to discuss their own,” says Chad.

“If you don't give up you will overcome at some point, somehow," says Hammond.

If you have been struggling to grow your family and want to learn more about the support the Cade Foundation offers, click here.

The Cade Foundation will hold its 10th Anniversary Gala on Saturday November 7th at M&T Bank Stadium.  ABC2’s Ashley James will serve as Mistress of Ceremony.
 

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