Family Stories

Julie and Daniel


Our relationship began in June 2018 through a dating app called Coffee Meets Bagel, in what we truly believe to be an act of fate. Daniel had just moved back to Chicago to be closer to his family after living eight years on the West Coast. Julie, who had been living in Chicago for many years, was getting ready to move to Denver for a new career opportunity but decided at the last minute that she didn’t want to leave. Weeks later, Daniel messaged Julie on Coffee Meets Bagel and the rest is history.

From the start, while our relationship clicked in so many different ways, one of the most important was our shared desire to start a family together. After getting married during the pandemic in August of 2021 in Daniel’s childhood backyard, the focus immediately shifted to starting our family in 2022. That process has faced incredible challenges, including trying to purchase a home in one of the toughest buyer’s markets we have seen in over a decade, and more so the challenges we have faced trying to have our first child.

During mid-2022, after undergoing some standard genetic testing, we found we are both carriers of a serious genetic disorder, Gaucher disease, and our child would have a greater than 25% chance of having it if naturally conceived. We were told that IVF (with PGT testing) would be the only option to move forward without severely risking our child’s life.

There is nothing more we want in life than to have a baby and start our family together. The thought of our child being born with a potentially life-limiting illness is devastating to us. It has put us in the unfortunate situation of having to pursue an extremely costly procedure (IVF) at the same time we are trying to purchase our first home together, during one of the most turbulent economic times we have seen in the past decade. We were not at all expecting to have to go through this process given we are both extremely healthy, and did not intentionally save funds for IVF.

Receiving this grant has been one of the biggest blessings of our lives! This grant has saved us not only financially, but emotionally, and has allowed us to pursue this IVF process and ultimately start our family together. We could not be more grateful to the Chicago Coalition of Family Building and the Jewish United Fund for all of their support and for helping make our dreams come true!

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