At just seventeen-years-old, Danielle Kapaska knew getting pregnant could be challenging.
Danielle says, “I was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis.” She continues, “My doctor kind of told me after the surgery, that it was one of the worst cases she had ever seen.”
Danielle and Shawn got married when they were twenty-years-old and started trying to conceive right away.
“It wasn’t that I was perfect in fertility either. I have my own issues that I found out through this process,” says Shawn.
After a year of trying with no success, they turned to Shady Grove Fertility for help. With money they saved, and a generous gift from Danielle’s grandmother, the two got pregnant in March of 2010 using Invitro Fertilization with ICSI or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection.
But that excitement would quickly subside.
“I went in for my first sonogram. When my doctor was in there she was taking a little bit longer than normal and that’s when she told me the baby didn’t have a heartbeat,” says Danielle. “Devastation isn’t even a word. There’s no vocabulary to describe that disappointment.”
Shawn described that day, “Hearing the news, it was terrible. The only thing I could think of is I need to get to my wife.”
Danielle and Shawn mourned their loss, before eventually wanting to try again. But this time, finances would be an obstacle.
Danielle says, “It depleted our finances completely.”
That’s when the couple turned to the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, an organization providing support and financial assistance of up to $10,000 to infertile families.
“I just remember filling out the application and never being so sure of anything in my life, that I knew we were going to get the grant,” says Danielle.
She was right.
Dr. Hammond says, “Danielle and Shawn are an incredible couple. They have huge heart and from the moment everyone reviewed their application, we knew that they would be a great fit, because they demonstrated they wanted to give back.”
Doctor Camille Hammond is CEO of the Cade Foundation and says the desire to give back is a large part of how grant winners are selected.
She says, “We really are looking for people who are willing to be ambassadors of cheer, ambassadors of hope, ambassadors of encouragement.”
And the Kapaska’s story is giving encouragement and hope to other couples, two times over, with Rylan and Rowan.
“She (Rylan) was embryo number one. So, embryo number two came along four years later and this is embryo number two (Rowan). So, they are technically twins because they were conceived at the same time, four and half years apart,” says Danielle.
There are currently 76 Cade babies and three ongoing pregnancies.
To learn more about grant information and upcoming events go to the Cade Foundation's website.