Sherri and Jeff Garneau always dreamed of having a baby together.
“You wouldn’t know our son is adopted when you see him and Jeff together,” smiled Sherri through tears of joy as she looked across the dining room table at her husband of just over a year. Jeff adopted their son as a newborn six years ago. “There are times he looks just like Jeff,” beamed Sherri referring to their family bond. “We love him so much. He is amazing. All we want now is for him to have a little brother or sister.”
When the Belleville newlyweds, both in their late 30s, recently received the dreaded news they wouldn’t be able to conceive a child naturally they were devastated. The doctor informed them they would have to turn to In Vitro fertilization – a costly and complex series of procedures used to assist conception that carries no guarantee.
Sherri is a nursing student and works part-time at a local call centre while Jeff drives taxi cab full-time. They were told the procedure would cost them $26,000, $11,000 of which is covered through the Ontario Fertility Program. However they will have to come up with the remaining $15,000 and are now looking to the community to help through a series of fundraisers.
Sherri said they have been trying to have a baby for over a year and when she first heard the news she was flooded with mixed emotions of sadness, grief and anger.
Jeff said it has been a life-long dream of his to become a father. When the doctor told Jeff that it was he who couldn’t conceive, he said he was crushed. All he ever wanted was for him and Sherri to experience the joys that would come from holding their newborn baby for the first time.
“I would walk or crawl on one leg to have a child of my own,” Jeff cried. “I am doing this for myself but more for Sherri and our son.”
Looking ahead Sherri said she believes there is a light at the end of the tunnel and remains hopeful that they will be able to find a way to fund the In Vitro. They have been going to a number of appointments in Whitby for testing and have another doctor’s appointment in Toronto in January. The couple says they are putting whatever funds they have towards their wish. If all goes to plan they hope to have the In Vitro completed in June 2017.
Meanwhile, they have set up a Gareau Baby Go Fund Me account and are planning a big New Year’s Eve Bash for Saturday December 31 at the Banquet Hall in Belleville to try and raise the remaining $15,000.
Jeff promises the night will be a grand affair with some generous sponsors pitching in such as Williams Hotels, A&B Precast Manufacturing Ltd., Accelerated Media and East Hill Family Dentistry.
The party starts at 8 p.m. with a dance, buffet dinner and door prizes. Tickets are $25 each.
For tickets email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Whatever we raise it helps and will go a long way,” said Jeff. “We are just looking to bring the community together and have a good time. It’s all about family.”