As most people with infertility know through experience, treatments can be very expensive. One round of IVF alone can cost thousands of dollars, and it’s usually the last step after trying multiple other pathways like IUI or timed intercourse beforehand, which can drain your resources. Fortunately, there are some options for funding. More employers are adding fertility coverage to their employee benefits, and there is an abundance of organizations that help by providing grants.
In this episode, Dr. Camille Hammond joins us to spotlight her pride and joy, the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, a nonprofit that supports families struggling with infertility. Dr. Hammond was diagnosed with endometriosis before trying to get pregnant, so she knew from the onset that conception wouldn’t come easily. Additionally, infertility as a Black woman can be especially intimidating, but she found helpful resources and community through the Broken Brown Egg (whose founder we featured on the podcast) and Fertility for Colored Girls. During her journey, Dr. Hammond went through six rounds of IVF and used a gestational carrier (who ended up being her mother, Triana Q. Cade) to reach her goals. But not without receiving financial assistance from her family and going through a period of low cash flow as an already busy medical student. Knowing first-hand how expensive the process can be Dr. Hammond wanted to give back in any way she could.
Now, 16 years later, the Cade Foundation has helped bring 92 babies into the world by providing grants of up to $10,000 for fertility treatment or domestic adoption. Join us to hear how you can get involved with their work.
Guest: Dr. Camille Hammond, Tinina Q. Cade Foundation
Host: Dan Bulger
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Here are some highlights from this episode:
IVF and a Gestational Carrier
Dr. Camille Hammond: My mom was my gestational carrier. And I can’t imagine anyone who would have been a better person to carry what we thought was going to be or we hoped would be our baby and ended up being our triplets, our three babies. She had already carried me. I love my mom, I talked to her every day. I know that she is a person that would eat healthy and do everything that she could to have a healthy pregnancy and to maintain her health.
Dan Bulger: This journey, several rounds of failed IVF treatments, and the love and generosity displayed by her mother had left a lasting impression.
Dr. Camille Hammond: It was a hard period. My husband and I got to know each other really well because as you probably know being on fertility medications kind of makes you a little emotionally labile. And so dealing with that was hard. I was a medical student and a resident, but I was still hopeful. I think toward the end I did get to the point where I just had so many years of failure or what felt like failure and was starting to lose my hope a little bit. That’s why my mom stepped in to see if she could carry a baby for us.
What is the Cade Foundation?
Dr. Camille Hammond: The goal for Cade is to support families with infertility. We do that in a number of ways. We give out grants which are up to $10,000 for fertility treatment or domestic adoption. And then we have education and conferences. We support conferences that are put on by other organizations and we also do our own. Every year we have a virtual conference but every other Monday we host coffee with Cade events, which are like mini conferences where either myself or a member of the team speaks with an expert about a topic that is of relevance and interest to the community. We’ve talked about everything from sexual function with infertility, to donor egg, to how to maintain emotional intimacy with a partner while you’re going through infertility, to men understanding the male response to family building and infertility. Lots of great content there. These are all free. I’ll just mention our fertility book club which is an opportunity to meet with other people who are interested in reading books and talking about the lessons from the book or the themes that may be applicable to the experience of trying to conceive.
Black Women and Infertility
Dr. Camille Hammond: I am a Black woman that struggled with infertility. And being Black and infertile is very hard. Also, in the past it was harder because when you looked at the type of messaging that was put out, whether it was from clinics or support organizations, most of it involved women that were not Black, and families that were not Black. And so if you’re looking at a commercial and you don’t see anyone who you can identify with, you may feel like this place that is offering support is not for me, so there are a number of issues. Now there are organizations that do provide support for Black women dealing with infertility. And two that come to mind are the Broken Brown Egg and Fertility for Colored Girls, but there are many others that are doing great work to help Women of Color. I say Black women, but many women of color, see that this is not a White woman’s issue. This is not a woman’s issue. This is a family issue. And they’re not alone in this. You’re not alone.
Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the last six years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he as interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children.
Dr Hammond and her husband, Dr Jason Hammond, co founded the Cade Foundation in 2005 to provide support to families with infertility. Camille completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Richmond, medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and residency and fellowship at Johns Hopkins and the National Cancer Institute (respectively). She is the current CEO of the Cade Foundation. In addition to her work with the Foundation, Dr Hammond is actively engaged in social, civic, community and philanthropic efforts through the nation.
Music From This Episode:
Artist: Jason Shaw
Track: Acoustic Meditation
Artist: Lee Rosevere
Track: Small Steps
Track: Making a Change
Track: The Secret to Growing Up