Family Stories

Jackie and Isaac


Jackie and Isaac met when we were in third grade at their synagogue. We were in the same class from third grade on. Isaac asked Jackie to go to a Coldplay concert when they were juniors in high school. Despite the fact that it was very loud and we were there to listen to the music, all we did was talk the entire time. It was months until Isaac asked Jackie out again, however we did talk via AOL instant messenger (clearly before texting was the thing to do). While dating, Jackie spent every summer in high school and part of her college years at OSRUI (Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute, an overnight Reform Jewish camp) were she was a camper and a madricha (counselor) from 2002-2010. While this wasn’t conducive for dating, Isaac never made it an issue and we made it work by talking on the phone almost every night when Jackie was a madricha. On days off, Jackie always made sure she would be able to spend time with Isaac. Isaac and Jackie also went to different colleges, but again talked most nights until Jackie graduated in 2012. After dating for 10 years, we finally got married. Flash forward to today, we have been married for five and half years and for the last two years (on and off depending on what was going on in our lives) we have been trying to get pregnant.

After almost an entire year of trying, Jackie’s OBGYN suggested for Jackie and Isaac to speak with a fertility specialist to determine the cause of infertility. After meeting with Dr. Nayak through Reproductive Medicine Institute, Jackie and Isaac had answers and were given two choices- give intrauterine insemination (IUI) a chance or go straight to in vitro fertilization (IVF). Because of the financial burden that would be felt with going directly to IVF, we decided to give IUI a chance. And then there was another hurdle to get past as it was discovered that Jackie had an ovarian cyst. Based on its size, it could cause ovarian torsion (when the ovary twists on the tissues that support the ovary) if stimulation medication were to be used. Jackie had the cyst drained with her next cycle and started the stimulation medications for IUI. We were so hopeful that this would work, but to our disappointment we were not pregnant. Despite being disappointed and sad, we decided to do another IUI round. The cyst had returned and therefore a discussion of what to do with the cyst became the priority. Ultimately, Jackie and Isaac decided that they would give IVF a chance.

A third hurdle came upon us- being able to financially afford IVF. On top of the financial component, Jackie’s insurance only allows for a certain amount of lifetime benefit coverage for fertility treatments and fertility medications. With just the one round of IUI, Jackie had almost maxed out the lifetime benefit for both treatment and medication. A coworker of Jackie’s whose daughter received a grant through the Chicago Coalition for Family Building told Jackie about this organization. While on the website, Jackie saw the Jewish United Fund (JUF) Path to Parenthood Grant and applied.

We are excited, honored, overjoyed, and thankful that the JUF Path to Parenthood grant was awarded to us. We can’t wait to be parents and instill our love of Judaism to our future children with the help of this incredible grant!

Jackie and Isaac are recipients of the Path to Parenthood Grant from the Jewish United Fund – Chicago.