Months ago we were searching for ways to finance IVF. We felt strongly it was the direction we needed to move in but after finding out how much it was going to cost we were a little overwhelmed. We searched and searched for loop holes in our insurance coverage, for grants, government assistance, etc. etc. We started to lose hope and decided we may just have to save and save for who knows how many years. But if you know the King's you know how impatient we can get (well how impatient I can get) especially when we know we're supposed to do something. I had remembered reading the blog of a couple that recently done IVF-the husband in the relationship served an LDS mission in Matt's hometown so Matt had gone on splits with him a lot right before his mission-and how they found out about an organization called Pound the Pavement for Parenthood. Well, at the time our doctor still wanted to do a few things before IVF so we weren't in a place to apply quite yet but it was important for us to get involved in the infertility community. It has brought a lot of feelings of peace and healing as we've connected with other couples and heard the stories of others. We helped with publicity for a race in 2012. Well, 2013 came around and after several failed treatments and break of a few months we were ready to get in the baby making game. We applied for a sponsorship from Pound the Pavement for Parenthood for one of their upcoming races (just barely hitting the deadline mind you). A few weeks went by and we contacted by Jill Witt, Founder and Race Director for PPP, wanting to set up an interview. We were so excited!!! We met with her another board member, Shellee Salmon, and just talked about our infertility experience. At the end of the interview they told us that the minute they read our application they knew they would pick us. It was meant to be.
We will always be grateful to Pound the Pavement for Parenthood. They have given us a miracle. By sponsoring us they helped us to find the courage to share our infertility with others. Through this experience our understanding of love and charity have grown. We've seen people come together and support one another. And we have seen how much good is truly in the world.
Our race couldn't have been more perfect. Everything fell into place. The weather was beautiful. The Spirit was felt. And hope was established in the hearts of so many. Our goal was to 150 people there and we had 400+. It was a testimony to us of hard work and perseverance. There were many times where we wanted to stop calling businesses, hanging signs, and passing out flyers because it didn't feel like much was coming from it. In the end, so many came to be with us. Some traveled across the country and some came after years of not seeing each other. It truly was amazing. We have some incredible people in our lives. Thank you to each of you. Thank you to those that have donated, to those that were with us on race day, to those that ran in honor of us across the country, and to those that have offered many prayers on our behalf. Our race was one of our miracles.
Special thanks to our dear friend, Sam Hadlock, for taking such beautiful pictures for us. They are something we truly cherish.
Shellee and Jill have become two of my dearest friends. If anything, the friendship that I have gained with these two has become one of my most cherished gifts.
They gave us two beautiful gifts, an adorable tiny tiny PPP t-shirt and this necklace to remind me to EXPECT MIRACLES.
This is Dr. Conway. She's amazing. Another testament to us that the Lord is mindful and has a hand in our lives. Dr. Conway started at Utah Fertility Center just around the same time we transferred there. The timing of bringing us together couldn't have been more perfect. We are so grateful to UFC for the donations and support they give to PPP. It's the collaboration between organizations like these that make miracles happen.
Meet the Young Family. We love and adore them. Katie is one of my best friends and her husband Kirk is actually Matt's boss. All of their family and extended family supported us in our race. Katie's sister-in-law Annie is experiencing infertility as well and they were able to enter Annie in for the discounted IVF cycle drawing. Sadly, Annie didn't win on the day of the race despite the fact that there were more entries in there for her than anyone else. Our hearts were broken for their family. However, Heavenly Father is mindful of His children and things fell into place. One of the winning couples wasn't able to use their cycle after all and PPP redrew for a new winner...Annie won! We were so excited and so grateful that the Young family was able to celebrate something so incredible in return for their kindness and generosity. And they had shirts made for us with the Project Manatee logo on them. My favorite shirt in house!
Our dear friends-family to us-the Balmforths came to race for us. They are hardcore with their racing and we were so excited that they could squeeze our little 5K into their summer line up. I grew up with the Balmforths and they've treated me like their own. We love them so much and are grateful they could share this day with us.
These beautiful ladies are my best friend and roommate from college, Karlie, and her adorable girls, Emily and Sophie. This was Emily and Sophie's first race and I must say they kicked butt. They take after their mama and are going to be just as beautiful and amazing as she is. Love you girls (and the boys too)!
My other best friend and roommate from college, Jenny, and her husband, Fez, were also there. We really do have the best of the best in our lives. This girl and I have more inside jokes than I can count and have seen each other through the good and bad. Grateful that she and Fez could be there with us. I can't forget to mention Jenny's brother, Brian, who came to the race and her stellar parents who ran for us in Arizona. That Wells family is so good to us.
This is my mom. She has been my rock. I was sent to her for a reason and there is no one more supportive of our efforts in starting a family than her (despite the fact we're going to make our kids call her Meemaa. She hates that idea.).
We love my Aunt Loreli and my Uncle John-who was there but not in the picture?? My whole life they have been there. Doesn't matter if it was a super lame dance recital, graduation, or my wedding, they have been there. It was such a blessing to have them there on race day. They've been so supportive and loving during this trial and we're blessed to have them as family.
Ahhhh...Davies and the Stones. Davies came in first place at our race! And Andrew came in a close second on his....scooter! He's a quick one that Justin Davies. We're grateful for our friendship with both him and the Stones. I can honestly say we have THE best friends. Davies was the first to give to donate to Baby King and the first to sign up for our race. He even wrote to Jill asking about the race route..he's that hardcore and loves Baby King that much. The Stones have been our advocates since Day 1. They've encouraged us, helped organize our online fundraiser, and shared their family with us. We love them more than we could express and are so grateful that our lives have crossed these paths together.
Here are the Fugals (minus Kara and new baby Andrea), who also have been with us since the beginning. Between our three families we've seen some pretty high highs and sadly some very low lows. We like to call our activities together "Stugaling" and consider each other family. It's amazing how Heavenly Father brings people together when they need each other the most.
These two cuties are Seth and Stella, our adorable niece and nephew. Their parents flew them across the country from Alabama to share in our race. We're grateful they could be with us. Amanda made them some pretty awesome shirts that say, "Running for Cousins". We love them very much and are thankful that we have such a supportive family.
We had so many of our students and friends from both our offices come to support us. For us the sacrifices of our students to run in our race was by far the most significant part. We know how they struggle for money on a regular basis so for them to give even the smallest amount meant a lot to us.
These are pictures of the race itself. The starting line and the beginning. This last picture is of my sister and her friend coming through the finish line. Have I mentioned how amazing our family is? My siblings and I haven't always gotten along but when it comes to things like this we stand by each other. I'm very thankful to have such a loving and supportive family despite our differences. I love them very much.