Tennessee couple turns to crowdfunding to help start family

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – According to the Mayo Clinic, 10 to 15 percent of couples face infertility. Some of those couples turn to expensive treatments and now, more and more of them are turning to creative ways to pay for those procedures.

“We decided that we wanted to have a baby basically as soon as we got married,” said Christine Frost. Like a lot of couples, she and her husband, Tom, wanted children to make their family complete.

After trying to have a baby for a while with no luck, the Frosts knew something was wrong. “It was about three years after marriage when we started thinking, ‘Well maybe this isn’t going to happen naturally,’” said Tom Frost.

After six years of trying to conceive, rounds of tests and treatments, Christine Frost found out she had endometriosis and it had ruined her chances of having a baby naturally. “No matter how many eggs I have, I still can’t get pregnant,” she said.

About a month ago, the Frosts decided to try in vitro fertilization (IVF). They said it is their best shot of having a baby, but it can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Tom and Christine Frost turned to crowdfunding; they’re using the GoFundMe website to try and raise the money for IVF.

In just a few weeks, a dozen donations have put more than $1,300 toward their treatment. Some of that money has come in from friends and family, and some from complete strangers.

GoFundMe said the Frosts aren’t the only ones using social media for financial help to start a family. According to the fundraising site, almost $1.5 million was donated to IVF pages on the site in the last 4 years. About one million of that money was raised in the last year.

It’s a growing trend: shifting crowdfunding from only startups and tech gadgets, to more personal and previously private ventures. Social media experts say this trend is only going to get bigger.

“Crowdfunding is the collaborate economy,” said John McCulley from Moxley Carmichael. “Basically you’re taking your idea and you’re putting it out there; you’re taking your cause and you’re putting it out there. And you’re asking the world to help you out.”

For Tom and Christine Frost, this new, unconventional social media trend is working. Christine is leaving soon for Ithaca, New York where she will stay for three weeks going through the IVF treatments. The Frosts are hoping to know whether they were successful by Thanksgiving.

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