“I lost myself and I forgot that I was more than someone desperately trying to have a baby. Meditation and the mind-body connection was my way to find my ground again.” – Davina Fankhauser
15 years of trying to build their family. 6 IVFs. Countless miscarriages, including those with twins and triplets. A painful selective reduction process. No insurance. But, an undying resiliency and dream of becoming a mother.
This is Davina Fankhauser, who is now a fiercely devoted advocate for women’s fertility insurance rights, with an unstoppable mandate to help as many couples as possible.
She is the founder and President of Fertility Within Reach, a national resource for accessing infertility health benefits as well as supporting reproductive health preservation.
Michael Dukasis, former Governor of Massachusetts, said of Davina: “I thought Kitty (his wife) was the most tenacious advocate I had ever know, until I met Davina.”
Let’s just take a walk through of all of the incredible accomplishments Davina has made on behalf of infertility patients, shall we?
- Led the strategic effort in MA to update the definition of infertility
- Coordinated multiple groups to testify before the Massachusetts Division of Insurance to advocate for MA to maintain a Benchmark Plan, (as part of the Affordable Care Act), containing IVF benefits
- Testified before the MA Division of Insurance in 2012, requesting Cryopreservation of Eggs is a required benefit for infertility
- Worked with fertility clinics to create and present Recommended Guidelines for Oocyte Cryopreservation to insurers. This treatment is now being offered to patients with medical need, as well
- Improved awareness of Infertility when she took on top medical resources, WebMD and the Mayo Clinic, and convinced them to update their medical definition of infertility to align with that of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine
- Lobbied at the US Capitol for IVF benefits for Veterans
She demonstrates a sheer force of will and determination to make change happen.
Here are some things we discuss:
- How to go through years and years of trying to conceive and retain the faith and desire to keep going
- The pressure of infertility and how it impacts a marriage
- Miscarriage and selective reduction
- Why being your own patient advocate can mean the difference between success and failure
- Davina’s own fertility journey and her major life lessons learned
Also, Davina mentioned her work with Dr. Mark Evans, who can be found here.
Soldier on wellness warriors,