5K race to help couples with fertility issues


Footsteps for Fertility recently announced that in connection with their 5K race scheduled for September, they will raffle off a donated cycle of in vitro fertilization to one lucky couple.

Draper City Park will host the race aimed to raise awareness of fertility issues. Organizers hope to help struggling couples achieve their dream of having a baby through in vitro fertilization.

“It really truly is a miracle for these people who are having successful IVF treatments,” said Laurel Sheppard, race director from Eagle Mountain. “Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to have kids.”

Dr. Russell Foulk is a specialist with the Utah Fertility Center and has generously offered his services to be raffled off for the race. Each participant who signs up to race will be entered into the drawing.

“He’s just a generous doctor and he really does help couples left and right,” Sheppard said. “He just sincerely cares. He’s just a great guy.”

Participants can also enter the race in behalf of family or friends in need of this procedure. The more participants a couple can recruit to run, the better their odds of winning. The winner of the raffle will receive one free cycle of in vitro fertilization.

The raffle will help one couple, but 100 percent of the proceeds from the race will go to the non-profit Pay it Forward Fertility Foundation to help many others. The mission of the foundation is to provide grants to couples in need of treatment and help reduce the associated costs. The goal of this run is to raise enough funds to assist several couples in receiving the treatments they need.

One in six couples will experience a fertility issue and many will require in vitro fertilization to have children.  This process can cost couples close to $10,000. Most insurance policies do not cover the procedure – leaving many without hope of ever holding their very own baby.

While the issue of fertility can be a sensitive topic, it may even be a major concern of some BYU students now or in the future. According to Y Facts, 25 percent of undergraduate students on campus in 2011 were married. That same year 59 percent of graduate students reported their marital status as married.

“I just think, if you’re going to run a race, run for something that matters,” Sheppard said. “This money directly benefits people who are in need and who aren’t going to ask for it and aren’t going to be up front about it.”

The race will be held September 15 at 8 a.m. Students looking to enter the race can use the coupon code “BYU” for $5 off the registration fee of $35. More information about the race and registration details can be found on the Footsteps for Fertility website. Additional information regarding the staff and success rates at the Utah Fertility Center can be found at utahfertility.com.


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