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Infertility Day Advocacy Day #Fertchat Transcript

Infertility Advocacy Day

March 25th, 2014
9pm ET/6pm PST
Join our FertChat with Fertility Authority and special guests@resolveorg and @the2weekwait, answering your questions on infertility Advocacy Day. Advocacy Day is a day for people who care about infertility legislation to meet with there Members of Congress in DC. …

Q: FertilityAuthority: What is infertility advocacy? What does it mean to you?
Mama Foxtrot: giving a voice to those who struggle with #infertility
Jen Rutner: To me, means sharing my story to empower myself and others who are struggling.
Whitney Anderson: To me, infertility advocacy means sharing my story to empower myself and others who are struggling.
Jen Rutner:Infertility advocacy means refusing to feel defeated by the disease of #infertility and standing up for our community
KNOWHEN: To me, infertility advocacy means sharing my story to empower myself and others who are struggling.

Q: Lorellei: Is it impossible to have a baby with one tube blocked with fluid? Been trying for 10 years
Jay: Have you done IVF or have you been trying naturally? You can email me at jay(at)
Lorellei: naturally....ill email you the details shortly. Thanks!

Q:FertilityAuthority: For anybody unfamiliar with @Resolveorg , can you give us a brief description of who you are and what Advocacy Day is about?
Whitney Anderson: Advocacy is imp. b/c if we don't fight for ours
elves, nobody else will. Look at the diff. in breast cancer now vs. 10 years ago.
Resolveorg: @resolveorg is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of people with #infertility
Mama Foxtrot: giving a voice to those who struggle with #infertility
Jen Rutner:#IFadvocacy is important because if we don't speak out for our community, no one else will.
Jay: And to add to what @jenrutner said, #IFadvocacy is important for those who don't yet feel ready to be open about infertility.

Q: Texas Walk of Hope: We are collecting letters for Texas to bring to Advocacy Day. What is the largest number of letters any state brought last year?
Resolveorg: Advocacy Day is a day for people who care about infertility legislation to meet with there Members of Congress in DC.
Whitney Anderson: I think it was around 300 from Cindy Flynn from California!
Jen Rutner: great question! Last year one advocate brought nearly 300 letters to Advocacy Day. Incredible, important work!
TexasWalkofHope We'd love to see you top that!
Whitney Anderson:Texans do like to go big!
Texas Walk of Hope: We are always up for a #challenge and WOW, go Cindy F. from California!

Q: Fertility Authority: How long has @resolveorg been involved in organizing Advocacy day and when is this year's?
Whitney Anderson:For several years now. This year it is 5/7/14.
Resolveorg:Resolveorg has been organizing advocacy day for several years. This year the day is May 7, Washington DC

Q: Fertility Authority? :You'll be attending Advocacy Day this year! Why is it important to you to be there?
Jay: When I went through treatment, my ins covered 1 IVF & then I was S.O.L. It caused a strain on us financially...
… emotionally & made a stressful situation worse. If I can spare others from that, I want to do exactly that.
Texas Walk of Hope: Everything is bigger in Texas! We admire the mission of @resolveorg and what Advocacy Day stands for!
KNOWEN: For our team, #IFadvocacy is important because we focus on more educational resources for women to feel in control.
Greg Sdeo: #IFAdvocacy is important to break myths about #infertility

Q: Fertility Authority: So, on May 7th - what can new comers to Advocacy Expect when they join @Resolveorg there?
Jay: Other than meeting a lot of amazing women of course! :)
Whitney Anderson: We get trained, we meet with both senators' offices and our Rep. We educate our leaders on IF & adoption legislation.
Resolveorg: You will meet with your 3 Members of Congress or their staff. You will not be alone!
Jen Rutner: At #advocacyday2014 advocates will meet with their elected reps ab 3 pieces of legislation that support the #infertility community.
Whitney Anderson: We explain #infertility, we discuss #thefamilyact, the women's veterans healthcare act, and the #adoption refundability act.

Q: Texas Walk of Hope:Last year, #TexasWalkofHope chair @AngNass went to Advocacy Day. Can anyone go to Advocacy Day? What if I am going alone?
Whitney Anderson: Of course :)
Jen Rutner: And, you'll meet other amazing advocates from around the country who will be your new BFFs!
Whitney Anderson: Someone from @resolveorg will accompany you. Nobody will be alone.
Jen Rutner: Talking to my reps about #infertility was so empowering, even though it seemed intimidating at first.
Jay: I'm going alone but I feel like I already know so many people through online resources!

Q: FertilityAuthority: For those unfamiliar with #thefamilyact , can you let others know what it is? And how it can help people.
Whitney Anderson: #TheFamilyAct is an IVF tax credit that could help many that are struggling financially.

Q: FertilityAuthority: What concerns are important to you that you'll be bringing to congress on Advocacy Day?
Jen Runter:There is a huge discrepancy in who can access to ART to treat #infertility bc of the financial burden, and that's unacceptable.
Jay: That infertility is a REAL medical issue and should be treated as such.
Resolveorg: @resolveorg believes everyone deserves access to the family building options that are right for them.
KNOWHEN:@resolveorg believes everyone deserves access to the family building options that are right for them.
Jen Rutner: #advocacyday2014 will give us a platform to make real changes to the financial support for #adoption and IVF.

Q:FertilityAuthority: Who should register to attend Advocacy Day? Do you have to have #fertility issues to participate?
Jay:There are people who have good jobs & even good insurance that still don't have coverage for fertility treatment.
Jen Rutner: Right now, IVF isn't covered by most insurance plans, and ppl have to pay out of pocket or not do it. That is unacceptable.
Resolveorg:Women, men facing/faced infertility, doctors, nurses, other professionals attend.
Whitney Anderson:Everyone should come to #AdvocacyDay2014! Men, Women, Doctors, Family, Friends, First Timers, Old Pros.
I have a friend who traveled abroad for IVF b/c it was cheaper (even with travel costs).
Resolveorg: We will also address the needs of our veterans with infertility and those that choose adoption.
Jen Rutgers: Anyone can attend #advocacyday2014! Bring your mom, your BFF, your doctor, your yoga instructor. Oh, and your partner!

Q: Kristen Cain, MD: Will you be advocating for insuring infertility treatments? Now they are on the ACA list.
Resolveorg: We are asking for support of the Family Act, IVF Tax Credit. Insurance mandates are a state issue.
Jay: It's a medical condition - plain and simple and that needs to be recognized.

Q: FertilityAuthority: What is self-advocacy?
Whitney Anderson: Self Advocacy = Not accepting mediocre/poor care, Speaking up for yourself, Asking tough questions, Questioning answers.
Resolveorg: Here’s an article from our website about self-advocacy: 
Jay: It's corny but being open about my experience & helping others is number 1 for me.
Jen Rutner: Self-advocacy involves recognizing that you have control over your health care and family building decisions.It's not corny! It's an inspiration!
StaciRez: Do your research. Be your own advocate!!! Don't be afraid to speak up. Trust your instincts. Find a new doctor if necessary.
Jen Rutner: Self-advocacy means that you make sure that the professionals supporting you are working WITH you.
Jay:Self-Advocacy is also not settling for treatment you're not enthusiastic about. Treatment is a big deal and YOU are a big deal.

Q: Fertility Authority: For those who may not be able to go to DC on #IFAdvocacy Day, what can they do to help?
Whitney Anderson:Can't come to Adv. Day? You can write letters to Congress! Get in touch w/ us as we can hand deliver them for maximum impact!
Jen Rutner: If you can't attend AD (Oh, but I hope you will!) you can still participate and speak out. Contact your reps about our issues!
StaciRez: Don't sit and do nothing Start by contacting your reps in congress. Write, email or call them. It's painless and costs nothing.

Q:Fertility Authority: What tips about Advocacy Day would you share for those going for the first time?
Jay: I hear comfy shoes are a must. I hope I can find a pair that matches my suit!
Hayley DeRoche: Don't be afraid to talk to a doctor. If you think something's wrong, ASK. And KEEP ASKING.
If you have to switch doctors, switch doctors. Find someone who respects you.
Jen Rutner: For first-timers at advocacy day, be prepared and you will rock your meetings! We'll help you every step.
Whitney Anderson: Tips for #IFAdvocacy Day: Study up on the bills so you will feel comfortable talking about them.
Jen Rutner: Absolutely. Never be afraid to disagree with your doc, and trust your gut. This is your body and your family!

Q:FertilityAuthority:Are Congressmen and the representatives you meet with receptive?
Jen Rutner: Our reps always appreciate hearing directly from constituents who are passionate about an issue. It makes a huge difference.
Whitney Anderson: Senators & Reps appreciate that we made the trip to DC to see them. They do care about what their constituents care about. *gasp*
Our reps always appreciate hearing directly from constituents who are passionate about an issue.
Jen Rutner: And, your meeting is only the start of the conversation! Having a dialogue with your rep can build real support for the bills.

Q: Fertility Authority:What issues are important to you? Voice them now and find out how to get them heard by Congress.
Jay: What's FABULOUS about #IFAdvocacy Day is taking years of being a pissed off infertile and doing something positive to help others!
Whitney Anderson: I want Congress to know that you never know who this disease will touch. You, me, your son or daughter. Young people are not immune.

Q: Fertility Authority: How do those at Advocacy Day know what to say during their appointments?
Jen Rutner: When you attend AD, we'll help you prep! There's a webinar training in advance, and training the day of w all the info you need.
Whitney Anderson:You will get training by phone prior to AD and training the morning of AD. We'll talk logistics, issues, answering tough Q's.
Jen Rutner: Actually, @WhitneyAnderson and I personally help put together the training materials to make sure our advocates feel ready!

Q: Fertility Authority: Sounds like a day of great meetings and productivity. Any fun planned too?
Jen Rutner: UH, meeting with Congress is SUPER FUN. What do you mean? ;)
Whitney Anderson:Fun at #IFAdvocacy Day, too -- There's always celeb sightings. :) Bryan Cranston cares about IF too!
KNOWHEN:Read what others had to say about Advocacy Day last year #fertchat 

Join us at Advocacy Day, May 7, Washington D.C. Register here. 

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