Gift of Hope 2016 – Janean & Kirk

Gift of Hope 2016Male and female fertility issues compound couple’s chances of having a child

Baton Rouge couple wins Gift of Hope IVF Grant 2016, a free round of in vitro fertilization.

As a Lake Charles patrol officer and member of the SWAT team, Kirk Dugas is trained to anticipate all kinds and manner of situations and threats. Though his job is not as glamorous as film and television often portray it, at times it can be quite challenging. On any given day he needs to be ready physically and mentally to deal with accidents, injuries, abuse, crime and sometimes death. Interacting with victims of crime and families of lost or injured loved ones is difficult and painful, but it’s perhaps the most important part of his job.

Being strong emotionally is a large part of being a police officer, but Kirk is learning that it is increasingly important in his off-duty job of being a husband as he and his wife Jenean struggle with infertility.

Kirk and Jenean were close friends in high school, running on the track team together. He being a few years older, they lost touch after graduation, but a chance meeting one night out sparked more than a long lost friendship. They began dating and soon after married.

Both are from big families with lots of nieces and nephews, so for Kirk and Jenean starting a family was just the natural next step. They planned to soon buy a house together for the family they would create together. But after several years of trying to get pregnant with no luck, Jenean visited her gynecologist and then a fertility specialist only to learn that her fallopian tubes were completely blocked, preventing pregnancy.

Her gynecologist also scheduled Kirk for a routine semen analysis. This test came back indicating male infertility with low count and motility. The couple soon learned that in as many as 40 percent of all infertility cases, the cause is a combination of problems with both partners.

Jenean was saddened and worried with the realization that she would not be able to have children without significant medical help. Trying to unblock her tubes would require surgery and even that was not guaranteed to work. After the surgery, they could try lower cost fertility treatments like intrauterine inseminations, but with Kirk’s fertility issues compounding hers, even that came with very low chances.

With Kirk’s job as a patrol officer and Jenean’s job at one of the local casinos, the couple were daunted by the cost of medically assisted fertility treatments. Plus, their insurance doesn’t cover infertility so trying to have a baby was out of their reach financially. Spending a lot of money on treatments with low chances of success was just too much of a gamble for the couple.

IVF was the couple’s best chance of pregnancy

In vitro fertilization, they learned, gave them the best odds of a pregnancy. But with an average price tag of $15,000, all out-of-pocket, Kirk and Jenean knew they couldn’t afford it. This made them even more disappointed knowing that finances was the issue standing in their way of having a baby.

The stress of not being able to have a baby has taken a toll on the couple. Jenean tries to stay calm with the stress of not getting pregnant month after month. Kirk hoped that if they just kept trying it would one day happen. But, he feels letdown by his own fertility issues and disappointed that he can’t give Jenean the child they want to complete their family.

That’s when Jenean and Kirk heard about the Gift of Hope IVF Grant 2016 and decided they had nothing to lose by applying. “We are so grateful for this chance to finally have a baby,” says Jenean. “My whole goal in life has been to get married and have a family,” adds Kirk. “We are keeping our fingers crossed that this works.”