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Arizona Walk Of Hope–A Day of Inspiration

HOPE IMAGE

 

My baby survived the ice age!

Those words written on a T-shirt worn proudly by a brother in infertility at the walk of hope are among my favorite parts of the day.  I couldn’t help thinking of those words every time I saw our formerly frozen embryo on the stage with us, and remembered she is an ice age survivor too!

It is about 11:30pm and we just arrived home from Phoenix, and although we are all exhausted, I can’t let the night go without posting about the event while it is still fresh from this morning.

The Walk of Hope was yet another turning point for me in my commitment to increasing the volume of my infertility advocacy and support voice.

To see more than 200 people gathered together, encircled by infertility doctors, pharmacies, acupuncture and nutrition specialists, moms of multiples, specialized “walk of hope” jewelry (which is Lisa is proudly wearing around her neck) was awe inspiring.

Ruth Abraham was a ball of energy keeping things going, Kelly Damron honored Senator Linda Lopez for her help fighting for infertility rights, and Betsy Campbell always seemed to be on the ready to keep things moving along with an amazing amount of enthusiasm and energy considering she’d just flown in from Virginia the night before!

I got to meet Dr. Larsen and Kristen Bollini and shake their hands in thanks for their passionate testimonies opposing the Embryo Tracking Bill, and I cannot wait to get into the thick of even more advocacy efforts to improve family building rights, while being on the watch to snuff out any rekindling of anti-family building legislation.

Lisa and I were inspired by the courage of an aspiring mom named Sunny, who bravely made T-shirts with the words  “Future Mom”  as she prepares for another cycle coming up on May 3rd.

I also learned about the value of acupuncture and nutrition from Robert Koagedal at AcuHealth and both Lisa and I were enlightened by all he and his wife Mary had to share about how “clean eating” may help with overall as well as reproductive health.

I met fellow bloggers, and infertility authors and I look forward to having them do guest posts on Almost A Father, and can’t want to provide guest posts on their blogs and websites.

Just talking to the wonderful people working the booths at the infertility clinics made me realize how many new procedures and techniques there are that are yielding amazing success rates.  I am planning follow up interviews with the infertility doctors to provide regular updates on local success stories, what’s new with infertility drugs and techniques, and am planning a new feature on Almost A Father with a question and answer session with each infertility doctor so you can get the questions answered that maybe you’ve been to afraid to ask, or just need reassurance or clarification on.

I have to thank Resolve once again for asking me to host this year’s Walk of Hope, 2013.  I was thrilled to be a part of the most successful Arizona Walk of Hope ever.  This year more than $30,000 was raised to keep Resolve’s incredible support machine running.

I also have thank Holly Hutchison and Scot Hutchison from Reproductive Health Center for their gift to “Team Almost A Father”–we REALLY appreciated the gesture of support from Tucson, and we did give a shout out to you and provided your words of encouragement to the Tucson walkers who made the trip up!  We can’t WAIT until April 16th, from 5pm to 7pm at the Oro Valley Public Library to start up the Tucson Resolve Support group.

We also caught up with an old friend, Kathy Graf, from our own infertility journey, a strong kindred spirit who was a huge support when we used to come to Phoenix for Resolve support group meetings.  We hadn’t seen her in nearly eight years, but it was like no time had passed.  Just like those days after support group meetings all those years ago, we found ourselves excitedly talking about our infertility journeys, and even making plans to add to the infertility support community in some very new and exciting ways.  More on that to come….

I have so much more to say, but the adrenalin rush from such an amazing event is finally giving way to a need for some sleep, but I will be blogging in more detail about some of the amazing moments that have inspired new directions for me as a male infertility perspective blogger and advocate for the infertility community.

Hopefully everyone who came to the Walk of Hope will remember the crowd of more than 200 people and rest peacefully knowing that they truly are not alone as long as an organization like Resolve exists to bring infertility support communities together.

God bless all of you in all your infertility journeys and thank you for being at the event.

I was honored to emcee the event, and look forward to doing it again next year!