One radio show gave a couple of listeners the gift of life.
Back in 2017, Florida radio station B103.9 held a “Win a Baby” contest, which covered the cost of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment and the accompanying medication for a lucky couple struggling with infertility.
Krista and Anthony Rivera, of Cape Coral, Florida, recently welcomed their son Garrett, the “miracle” baby made possible by the life-changing sweepstakes.
“Without the contest, we definitely would not have been able to have our dream of having a baby,” Krista told WFTX. “This is really a dream come true. We never thought we’d have our miracle and we’re so happy to have our little family.”
Prior to entering the contest, Anthony learned “out of nowhere” that he had testicular cancer, and due to chemotherapy treatments, he would not be able to have children. The diagnosis left IVF as their lone option for having a child of their own, as they opted to freeze some of Anthony’s sperm cells.
According to the National Infertility Association, one in eight couples have trouble becoming pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy, and an estimated 7.4 million women have received some form of infertility services in their lifetime.
IVF is the most effective form of assisted reproduction, according to the Mayo Clinic, and involves fertilizing an egg in a lab before transferring it back into the uterus. It’s an expensive series of doctor’s visits and procedures — the average cost in the U.S. is $12,000, according to Parents, and additional fees can come with medicines used to stimulate reproductive precesses.
“When we thought we couldn’t have a baby,” Krista said, “it was crushing.”
After they won the contest in 2017, Krista WFTX that the treatment was not covered by their insurance coverage, and that they would not quit their fight for fertility.
“We won’t give up, it’s just like his cancer diagnosis,” she said at the time. “We are not going to give up no matter what is thrown at us. We will keep fighting together.”
In August, after being induced, Krista went through 55 hours of labor before giving birth to her “handsome little man,” as she called Garrett when she shared the good news with B103.9 in August.
“We certainly don’t know how to do anything the easy way, but we are still blessed beyond measure,” she told the radio station at the time.
The delivery was not a smooth process, however, as Krista said the baby was turned sideways, unable to get past her pelvis and requiring emergency care. Though she said she was “fuzzy” in the moment, she recalled being aware that Garrett suffered a broken arm and wasn’t breathing at first.
“I could only see glimpses of him laying there, pale, silent and helpless. I have never been so terrified in my life,” she said. “Thankfully he quickly began breathing on his own and they let me see him for a brief moment before whisking him away to the NICU.”
Now 3 months old, Garrett brings endless joy to the happy parents.
“I never, ever would have thought that three years later, I would be holding my baby boy,” Anthony said.
In June, B103.9 announced this year’s winners of the “Win a Baby” contest, Chris and Vy Nguyen, who were set to begin their IVF treatments shortly after they were announced as the chosen couple.
“I’m speechless, thank you so much,” Chris said on the radio show when informed of the news.
“I feel so blessed,” Vy added.
Krista offered her own advice for others struggling to conceive, telling WFTX: “It’s so worth it so keep fighting. I know it’s hard — it’s never easy — but it’s worth it.”