“You never know how badly you want something until you are told that it may not be possible.”
This quote appears on the home page of the National Infertility Awareness Week website, and it is one that many couples can relate to — especially if they have been affected by infertility.
National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) was started in 1989 by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. The week of April 23–29, 2017, is dedicated to bring awareness to the disease of infertility that affects roughly 1 in 8 couples in the United States. Infertility does not discriminate on race, age, religion, or financial background. The goal of NIAW is to educate the public about infertility, and hopefully empower people to do something to make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans who live with the disease.
NIAW was finally designated a federally-recognized health observance by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2010. This designation is important as it helps the public become educated about infertility. It also validates the painful experiences of those families affected by the disease. Infertility can seem so isolating to those suffering. Participating in NIAW helps break down the walls of loneliness and shows support for those struggling.
So how can you get involved? There are many ways, from participating in events, hosting events, or even just posting your support on social media. Here are some examples:
- Host a rummage sale and all proceeds go to RESOLVE. Find helpful tips for hosting a “Rummage for RESOLVE” on their website.
- Host a dinner party or happy hour at a local restaurant. Invite family and friends to help you raise awareness for the disease of infertility.
- Post, Snap and Tweet about your involvement in NIAW. If you have a personal story related to infertility, share it. Send messages of support to those struggling to build a family. NIAW’s website has other ideas and downloads you can use.
- Gift your support for NIAW. Instead of buying a physical present for someone, let them know you’ve made a donation in their name. Likewise, ask friends and family to donate to NIAW in lieu of presents for yourself.
- Participate in the 1-mile Walk for Hope being held in various locations across the country. Proceeds from the walk help fund RESOLVE’s programming, including support groups and advocacy work. If you can’t find a walk near you, consider hosting one.
During NIAW, consider taking a moment to raise awareness and spread the word about the 1 in 8 couples desperately wanting to become parents.