Gift of Hope IVF Grant 2010 Couple Sheds Light on the Struggle of Endometriosis-Related Infertility
The Carters battled infertility for over five years due to Robin’s endometriosis, a condition that can cause both pain and infertility. Thirty to forty percent of patients with endometriosis are infertile, a rate two to three times that of the general population. Although the causes of endometriosis are unknown and there is no cure for this disease, a variety of treatment options exist, including pain management, hormonal treatment and laparoscopic surgery.
In Robin’s case, extensive endometriosis has blocked both her fallopian tubes preventing the sperm and egg from uniting. She has undergone two laparoscopic surgeries to remove endometriosis and cysts, but is still struggling with infertility and the pain, both physical and emotional, that goes along with it. In vitro fertilization offers the best chance for her to conceive, a procedure not covered by the couple’s health insurance.
“I am on cloud nine!” Robin said after being contacted by telephone that she and Dion were chosen for the Gift of Hope award. “I’m at work right now, but I don’t really feel like I’m here. I still can’t believe it. This is a dream come true for us!”
Having a family has always been a dream of the Carter’s, who both come from close-knit families. Dion is one of six children from the Bayou Chicot area, while Robin is extremely close to her mother and sister who live in Opelousas. Mother’s Day, Robin says, is always an emotional time for her, especially when she is at church with her mother and sister, who also suffers from endometriosis.
“I see all of the mothers in church being honored and keep wondering why this had to happen to me and my sister. But I think God gives us these challenges in life to make us stronger,” Robin says.”It just makes me that much more determined to fight this horrible disease.”