Today’s score is Whitney 2 – Infertility 0. Sometimes one person really can make a difference.
For RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day, I met with my Virginia Congressman, Representative Bob Goodlatte, and got his verbal support for TWO infertility initiatives. I am so glad that I did this. I wanted to try, but never had any expectation that I would get any action or support out of it.
I was so nervous, but somehow I found the courage to get through my little speech without breaking down or forgetting anything.
I discussed the basic infertility 101 information and then told him our story. When I told him we had spent north of $28,000 out-of-pocket so far, that got a “wow” from him.
Then, I told him I was really there to talk about the family tax credit bill that will be introduced in the House and Senate very soon. It will be very similar to the adoption tax credit and will provide a credit for half of IVF-related medical expenses up to around $13,000. I pointedly asked if I could count on his support, and he said yes. So then I was feeling really brave and asked if he’d be willing to co-sponsor it and he said yes to that too. I couldn’t believe it. I was thrilled and so pleasantly surprised with his response. He said that he supports the adoption tax credit and so it made sense that he would support this as well. As RESOLVE said to do, I closed the deal!
He mentioned that he has two children and what blessings they have been and wished us luck. He asked about why people have infertility and the success rates of treatments, so I gave him some info on that.
Finally, I told him that Congress had asked the CDC to create a National Action Plan for Infertility, and while they did it and efforts were in the works, it was discontinued this month. I asked him to please call the CDC and inquire about the status of the initiative. He immediately asked an assistant to come in and asked them to write a letter immediately. WOW!
Who knew that all I had to do was stand up and ask? Of course, this is just one tiny step in the overall process, but it felt like a huge victory for me.
You can do this, too!
If anyone else has an upcoming meeting and would like to ask me any questions, I’ll see if I can answer them. Also, if you hadn’t considered doing this for RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day, please consider it. You can meet your Congressperson in your home state at their local office. Go here for more info. While infertility robs us of control over our situations, it’s nice to stand up and take control for a change and win a few battles here and there.