Local couples use crowdfunding for baby

 By: Alexandra Cowley 

acowley@abc6.com 

The website Go Fund Me has grown in popularity as a place to raise money for personal causes. There are fundraisers of all kinds on the site, but there’s one that’s really taken off; crowdfunding for a baby. Couples struggling with infertility are using the site to pay for the child they otherwise couldn’t have.

“I actually had hair back then,” laughed Felix Calderon while browsing his wedding photos.

The Calderon’s, of West Warwick, have been married for eight years. They’ve been trying since their wedding day, back when Felix jokes he had hair, to get pregnant.

“It’s something I wanted and it’s something we’ve always wanted, it just didn’t happen, it just didn’t pan out,” the Calderon’s said.

Robin Calderon knew at a young age having children would be tough. She has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. But she says Felix’s two kids have made the pain a little less sharp.

“I have my two bonus children that came from Felix, and that’s been great, but I just want the experience of going through the whole thing,” Robin said.

The Calderon’s decided early this year to undergo tests and treatments. Fertilility medication for Robin to start, and if that doesn’t work, they’ll turn to invitrofertilization, or IVF. It’s an expensive gamble.

“There’s no guarantee. So it’s like here’s my heart thrown on the table along with a bunch on money pretty much and you known here’s to hoping,” said the Calderon’s.

Damien and Holly St. Pierre, of East Providence, know that feeling all to well. They’ve been down the IVF road, a 3 year journey, and are now looking to adopt.

“We tried the In Vitro three times and we did get pregnant on the 3rd try, but we did lose the baby shortly after, but I think it made us stronger,” said Holly. 

Jolly also not able to have a baby of her own, but the couple has stayed strong, despite the emotional and financial stress.

“We almost gave up and decided to have a great life together just us but then I’m around all my friends children and our nieces and nephews and you realize you can’t shake that feeling of wanting to be a parent,” Holly said.

So both couples have turned to crowdfunding to help absorb the costs. The St. Pierre’s are still paying off a 25,000 dollar loan from the hospital. They are hoping to raise 6,000 for their new journey towards adopting a child.

The Calderon’s are hoping to raise 3,500 for their treatments. Both couples say the pages are a step out of their comfort zone, but realize they could use the support, both financially and emotionally.

Holly says, “Everybody says you’ll make it work, no matter what you have in the bank, so I guess we’ll be that group too.”

“Where there’s hope, there’s life, so we have hope, hopefully there will be life,” smiled the Calderon’s. 

Since 2011, 1.4 million dollars has been raised on the Go Fund Me site for couples either adopting or using IVF treatments. More than half of that money was donated just last year.

(C) WLNE-TV 2015