One mom is on a mission to help couples affected by two fertility clinics’ frozen embryo storage malfunctions. The recent malfunctions in two fertility clinics, one in Ohio and one in California, have received their fair share of media attention recently—and for good reason. For the families who froze their hopes for future children—thinking their frozen embryos were safe and sound—the loss is unimaginable.

Enter Niki Schaefer. The 37-year-old mom from Chagrin Falls, Ohio knows about disappointment. After struggling to conceive, Schaefer started fertility treatments in 2008. The now-mama ended up conceiving a son, Noah, and a daughter, Lane, both through IVF.

Even though Schaefer did have a few failed rounds of IVF in between conceiving her son and her daughter, she ended up with four excess embryos. Like many parents, Schaefer didn’t know if she would use their remaining embryos. So she kept them—frozen and waiting.

After hearing about the recent fertility clinic malfunctions, Schaefer decided to donate her embryos to the University Hospitals Fertility Center in Cleveland.

In a post on her Facebook page, Schaefer wrote (of her embryos), “I thought I would eventually donate them to research because I couldn’t mentally handle the thought of Noah or Lane’s formerly frozen siblings being on this earth and not knowing them. The unfortunate events that compromised the frozen embryos at the UH Fertility Center changed my mind.”

The mom went on to add, “I often say there is a sisterhood of women touched by infertility. This is an opportunity to be real sisters and bring light to the darkness that these families, and those who work at the UH Fertility Center, are experiencing.”

Now that’s one amazing woman.

Would you donate your frozen embryos? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

—Erica Loop



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