Everything Pregnancy

Why One Woman Has 'No Shame' Panhandling to Raise Money for IVF

The Utah woman has taken to the streets to raise money for IVF and treatment for her husband's rare genetic condition. 

Woman IVF shot BSIP/Getty Images

If you've ever considered or gone through in vitro fertilization, you know that it's a costly undertaking—physically, emotionally, and of course financially. A couple from Utah Jessica and Jared Gales, who have been married for 13 years, know this all too well. And in order to raise money for IVF, Jessica has been spending hours at a time panhandling. The Daily Mail reports that she stands at an intersection, holding a sign that reads: "Need help 4 In Vitro." 

The Gales told KSL.com that they have been trying for over a decade to conceive with no luck. Their main hurdle: Jared has a genetic condition called Kallmann syndrome that delays or completely blocks puberty, affecting sperm production. Hormone replacement therapy can help KS patients have children, but the Gales' insurance won't cover the treatment.

Given the struggles they've faced, Jessica, who works at a hair salon and as a custodian at a local school, explained that she's on a mission to raise money for the hormone therapy and IVF treatments, "I actually never thought I’d be standing on a corner asking for money. I have no shame at this point. I’m not embarrassed. ... We’ll do just about anything to get baby Gale here. We just want to create the family that we always wanted and struggled so long for. We’re going to do everything we can to have a child."

The couple has documented this uphill battle on a YouTube channel, even sharing a video clip of Jessica getting ready to go out panhandling for the first time.

"‘I may not want her to do this," Jared says in the video. "But I support her. She’s awesome. She’s probably the best wife that you could probably ask for… She’s super brave. And I know that this is just one of those ways that she’s trying to show everybody she really wants this. We both do."

The couple is also raising money through a YouCaring page to help them reach their goal of $19,000. So far, they have raised nearly $6K. And once the Gales hit their goal, Jessica has pledged to shave her head and donate her hair to Wigs4kids, a nonprofit that offers wigs to children who've lost their hair due to illness. It's her attempt to pay it forward.

"I am willing to do just about anything to make a baby happen for us," Jessica wrote on the crowdfunding site. "So, if you have even have one extra dollar, please consider donating to make Baby Gale a reality, little by little makes a little a lot."