The opportunity to be a mother <3
The opportunity to be a mother <3
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Catrell Wilson is organizing this fundraiser.
My name is Catrell and I am active duty Air Force and have served for 21 years. I love the military and the opportunities provided to me while serving. My journey to motherhood has been a difficult one and I never imagined myself in a position to ask for assistance with a matter such as this. I was born and raised in Bradenton, FL to a loving family, so the family has always been an important part of my life to the point where I want one of my own. Like many women, I was diagnosed with fibroids in 2008. The doctors are unsure what made them appear and it is an uphill battle for medical professionals to understand their origin. Fibroids caused me to have painful menstrual cycles and infertility. I was pregnant once in 2006, but unfortunately, I had a miscarriage and have not been pregnant since then. I have been stationed in 9 different locations and did not experience major issues with them until 2018. I was in the process of working with a local doctor for surgery, but it never came to fruition.
I moved to Germany in 2019 where COVID-19 closures and the Afghan support effort stifled my ability to receive treatment due to the hospital’s inability to support me. During this time, stress and other factors cause the fibroids to grow at an accelerated rate. I move to Tampa in 2021 and a routine ultrasound of hernia revealed the fibroids took over my uterus and needed to be removed as soon as possible for my health. I was admitted to Moffitt Cancer Center on March 30, 2022 for removal surgery. Unfortunately, the surgery did not go as planned and my situation was worse than originally anticipated. It resulted in 3 blood transfusions and the loss of my uterus. The doctor had to make a choice between saving my uterus of saving my life. I am thankful to still be here, but devastated that I will never physically carry a child.
“Studies show that African-American women suffer fibroids 2 to 3 times more than white women,” says McLeod OB/GYN Dr. Monica Ploetzke. One estimate is that 25% of African-American women will suffer from fibroids by the age of 25 and 80% will have them by age 50 (compared with 70% for white females). Because Black women suffer fibroids at an earlier age, they also are 2 to 3 times more likely to undergo surgery.
The most heartbreaking part is my insurance has many bureaucratic processes that will not cover the IVF process. In order to receive assisted reproductive services, the services must be medically necessary combined with coital conception. Non-coital reproductive procedures, services or supplies are not covered and I have a hard time why this is a factor. This is a clear bias against single female service members. How can one serve faithfully with stressors such as infertility or wondering why their insurance will not support such an important goal in the lives of women who want to start their own family?
I have reached out to my congress representative to see if there are discussions on The Hill to pass laws for service women facing infertility and no access to treatment through government-funded insurance.
Thank you in advance for your time, support, and acknowledgement to help me retrieve my eggs to achieve my dream of having a family of my own.