Evan and Jackie Williams holding their children Charlotte, 1, and Henry, 3.
This story originally appeared in the Summer 2021 edition of Promise magazine.
About one in six couples has difficulty conceiving a child without medical intervention. For too many, the steep cost of medical help alone is an enormous barrier to ever starting a family.
Jackie and Evan Williams are giving hope to those struggling with infertility and helping to ease the financial burden.
With a generous gift to Summa Health, this philanthropic couple established the Jaclyn and Evan Williams Fertility Fund, the first of its kind offered through the Summa Health Women’s Institute. This donor-supported fund offers grants to help qualified individuals and couples achieve their dreams of having a family.
“It was incredibly painful for us,” is how Jackie and Evan describe their journey to starting a family. “We were fortunate that we didn’t have the financial struggle on top of the stress we experienced.”
Not every couple can afford the life-changing fertility treatments, which can cost between $20,000 and $30,000. Insurance doesn’t cover every procedure. That leaves some financially burdened couples with little chance of having children.
After Jackie and Evan made it through their journey to have their own children, Henry, 3, Charlotte, 1, and one on the way in September, they were inspired to give other couples hope … and help.
Individuals and couples who apply for the grant can receive up to $25,000 in uncovered and out-of-pocket expenses for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and genetic testing. There are several health-related requirements that applicants must meet to qualify.
Those in need can apply for the grant through a formal written application to the Summa Health Women’s Institute by first scheduling an appointment with one of its caring, compassionate specialists.
Jackie and Evan count their infertility specialist, Dr. Priya Maseelall, in that notable group. “We really appreciate her attention to detail and personalized service. She does every ultrasound and every specimen retrieval. Priya is a saint.”
Dr. Maseelall is excited about the newly established fund as it will raise awareness about a topic that is rarely talked about – yet touches so many. “If you are struggling with infertility, you are not alone,” she says. “We’re here to help you.”
The couple says their gift is “a way to show gratitude to Dr. Maseelall and other doctors who have helped families like ours that wouldn’t otherwise exist.”
Family is important to this couple in more ways than one. “My parents instilled in me the importance of philanthropy. We want to lead by example and leave a legacy for our children,” says Evan. “We hope that our gift to Summa Health inspires others to do the same.”
The Jaclyn and Evan Williams Fertility Fund allows donors to give the greatest gift of all to a couple in need – the chance to have a child.