BETHLEHEM, Pa. /New York Netwire/ — Sher Fertility Institute announced today that Joel and Mary Roberts of Slatington, PA would be receiving free In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatments as the winners of a contest that the company offered this month. The donation is part of Sher Fertility Institute’s “Giving Back” initiative, intended to help some of the estimated 1 million couples in the U.S. that need advanced fertility treatment, but aren’t able to afford it. The donated treatment is valued at $10,000.

The contest was open to anyone who needed IVF treatment in order to conceive and required entrants to tell their story detailing why they deserved to win the treatment. Almost 100 couples submitted entries, which were reviewed by a panel of clinical and administrative staff at Sher Fertility Institute. The panel selected 10 finalists, whose stories were then posted on the company’s Facebook Page and website, where visitors could vote for their choice.

Sher Fertility Institute had originally planned to donate IVF treatment to just one couple, but decided to open the donation up to three couples instead.

“The stories that came in were heart-wrenching and inspiring,” said Sher Fertility Institute Lehigh Valley Medical Director Dr. Albert Peters. “Every one of these couples was deserving of the donated treatment, so in the end, we felt that offering it to three couples was the right thing to do.”

Joel and Mary have been struggling to have a baby for several years and have undergone several unsuccessful treatments, but weren’t able to find the financial resources for In Vitro Fertilization, which their doctor told them was their best option for conceiving. IVF treatment typically costs $10,000-$15,000.

“We are so grateful for this opportunity and will always remember this day,” said Mary. “We have been through a heartbreaking 3 years of trying to conceive, paid thousands of dollars trying to get pregnant, and now we finally feel like there is hope.”

Their story, along with those of the other finalists are posted on the Sher Fertility Institute website: . Mary has also been an active voice in the infertility community and chronicles her journey on her blog. She recently created a video, Mary’s Journey: .

During the last three decades, Sher Fertility Institutes and their doctors have donated hundreds of free fertility treatments to patients and couples from all over the country.

About Sher Fertility Institute:

Sher Fertility Institute is a national network of fertility clinics specializing in cutting-edge technology, personalized treatment and compassionate care. SIRM Founder Dr. Geoffrey Sher established the first private In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) program in the United States. Dr. Sher and his colleagues have been influential in the development of dozens of important breakthroughs in the field of reproductive care.

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