Gift of Hope 2009

Two Couples Chosen for the Gift of Hope 2009

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Kip and Michele Trahan and Jesse and Shane Cayce, Gift of Hope 2009 winners.


Two couples were selected from a pool of over 30 applications received from area couples seeking to be granted a free in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle in their efforts to conceive a child. The Gift of Hope was created to ease the high costs, both financially and emotionally, of infertility treatments for one couple who demonstrates both financial and medical needs for IVF.

Jesse & Shane’s Story

At the age of 5, Shane Cayce was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphona and was treated with chemotherapy and radiation after the tumor in his colon was surgically removed. At the time, his parents were told that long-term side effects to the drugs administered to Shane were unknown, but sterility and organ damage were high on the list. Shane spent much of his childhood in and out of hospitals and commuting from Patterson to New Orleans for treatment. Spinal taps, IVs and playing inside rather than around other kids due to the risk of infection became his lifestyle. Repeating a grade in school also resulted. Despite these obstacles, he graduated from Louisiana Technical College with a degree in drafting.

But in 1997 his heart began to fail as a result of the chemotherapy he received as a child. However, with careful diet, exercise, proper medication and medical attention, Shane’s heart is now functioning well. After marrying Jesse, a receptionist for a local energy company, they began trying to have a child with no success. Further testing proved that Shane’s past chemotherapy had indeed made him sterile and their only hope of conceiving a child would be through in vitro fertilization. Once again, the chemotherapy administered to keep a young boy alive had dealt them another blow in their efforts to start their family. To add to this, the Cayce’s medical insurance does not cover treatment for any infertility related procedures.

The Cayces underwent in vitro fertilization through the Gift of Hope program in August 2009, but did not conceive. Shane Cayce later underwent a heart transplant and the couple are vocal supporters of organ donation. They still hope to one day add a child to their family.

Michele & Kip’s Story

Michele Trahan, who works for the Vermilion Parish Clerk of Court, and her husband Kip, an offshore dispatcher, were ecstatic upon hearing the news that they had been selected as one of the Gift of Hope 2009 couples. The Trahans have been trying to start their family for over five years but after three ectopic pregnancies and one miscarriage, Michele was left with only one fallopian tube and little hope for getting pregnant without advanced fertility treatments. After trying several fertility treatments and a surgery without success, the Trahan’s were advised that in vitro fertilization would be their only chance of conception, a procedure their health insurance does not cover.

In 2007, the Trahans decided to give IVF a shot and took out a loan for the expensive procedure. Unfortunately, their attempt at pregnancy through IVF, which has an approximately 50 percent chance of success, did not result in a pregnancy. What impressed the selection committee members most about the Trahan’s were their strong faith and commitment to each other and the support of family and friends revealed in the personal letters submitted with their application.

Michele Trahan conceived through the Gift of Hope, but miscarried a short time later. In 2011, after going through another IVF cycle at their own expense, Kip and Michele delivered a healthy baby boy. The Trahans never gave up on their quest to have a baby and Jax Michael is their success story!