We thank you for your support!

Amanda Keightly and Anne Kohler (sponsors); b.rose shop (t-shirt fundraiser); Kat and Chris St. Jacques; Schulties Family; Vlahopoulos Family; Duffy Family; Sandy Stoll; Stephanie Woodring; Julie Agee; Helen Hanson; Lancaster Family; Kehoe Family; McClure-Lewis Family; Keightly Family; Rachel Eisenberg; Zajko family; Parillo-Dochter Family; Lisa Bogle; Cynthia Bricker; Danielle Duffy; the Croak Family

Help Jen & Doug!
Raised $2,635.00 of $13,000.00​

Fill Their Arms

Jen & Doug

making parenthood possible

Fill Their Arms
making parenthood possible

No percentage fees!  Keep all of your donations.

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From the day we got married in 2008, we always envisioned raising at least two children together.  Coming as the oldest children from larger families, we both appreciate and understand the joy and love in having amazing younger siblings! In the fall of 2012, we were blessed with the healthy arrival of our son Brian, and we are so thankful for the joy he brings to our lives! In April of 2016, we were overjoyed to find out that we would be welcoming another child into our family, and to give Brian a sibling!

That joy quickly turned to crippling anxiety in June, when through routine prenatal testing we discovered that Jen had developed antibodies to a specific blood type that Doug happened to have.  The Kell antigen system is a lesser-known blood antigen that only 9-10% of people carry.  Additionally, Jen’s rate of antibody production was alarmingly and unusually high, and well beyond critical levels.  This issue is called isoimmunization, and for more rare blood types such as Kell, there is no preventative treatment like the Rhogam shot, even if we had been aware that Doug had this blood type.  As a result, the antibodies attack the baby’s red blood cells, making them severely anemic without intervention.

It was unclear at first if our baby would be affected, since there is a 50/50 chance that Doug would pass on this blood type.  As time and intensive monitoring went on, we discovered that our baby was severely anemic at 26 weeks, and our baby needed a blood transfusion while Jen was still pregnant. 

Just four days after Brian’s fourth birthday, Jen had to deliver by emergency c-section at 27 weeks due to fetal distress following the second attempted transfusion.  Our beautiful baby girl, Kristina Jane, was born too early and too sick to survive more than a few minutes, never breathing on her own or opening her eyes.

We are devastated at the loss of our daughter and Brian’s baby sister, and our home feels so, so empty without her.  The only safe way that we can have more children of our own is to pursue IVF treatment and use PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) to ensure the incompatibility does not happen again. 

This journey of loss is one we would not wish on anyone, and has drained us in ways we never imagined.  We never imagined the grief that would envelop us over this past year, and we never imagined that we would have to go to these lengths just to have a family!!

We were recently blessed with the surprise of a lifetime, when we were chosen as a raffle winner for a portion of the anticipated costs to be covered by a family-building grant.  We are updating our goal – we would love to raise $8,000 by August 12, 2017 to cover the costs of PGD testing and other specialized services necessary for our treatment, not covered by the grant.

Please consider helping us bring home a healthy “rainbow” baby and living sibling for our son Brian, and help complete our family here on Earth.  Our home feels empty and incomplete without our daughter, and we hope that our hearts can continue to heal as we raise our son and any future child(ren) in honor of Kristina’s memory.  With your support, we will begin treatments later in 2017!

Thank you so much for reading our story! We wish all of you love and success on your own individual journeys, whatever they may be!!

 Love, Jen, Doug, and Brian