LENEXA, Kan. -- Couples struggling with infertility would go to the ends of the earth to have a baby. Now some couples from Kansas City are at least going to Europe for treatment in hopes of getting pregnant at a lower cost.
Michelle and Ilya Mazel's smiles in photographs followed heartache. Michelle had suffered miscarriages with natural pregnancies and in vitro fertilization or IVF. There were failed treatments, too.
"We had already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on treatments, struggling to build a family," she said.
Then they heard about a state-of-the-art clinic in Greece. Egg donation, IVF and all their travel expenses cost $12,000, roughly a third of what they'd pay for treatment alone in the United States since most insurers don't cover it.
"Wonderful, wonderful experience, all in all," said Michelle.
Today, they have an 8-month-old daughter, Meesha, but not from treatment in Greece. Michelle did get pregnant, but miscarried early with twins. Another trip to Greece resulted in a failed IVF cycle.
"We decided to continue, and let's seek out adoption," said Michelle, who was then 44 years old.
To their great surprise, within months, the Mazels adopted Meesha.
Through the group Kansas City Infertility Awareness http://www.kcinfertility.org/, Michelle told Erica Wallace about her experience in Greece.
"And I honestly didn't believe Michelle when she talked about the cost and when we saw the breakdown, we just couldn't believe it. So why not go to Greece, get a baby and have a three week vacation?" said Wallace.
She and husband, Bobby, returned to Kansas City just a few weeks ago.
"I am pregnant. I'm six weeks along and so next Monday, we'll actually go and hopefully see a heartbeat," she said.
The women say one drawback is that it can be harder to find an infertility specialist here who'll see you before you go overseas and after you return. But they encourage others to at least look into overseas treatment.
"Oh, yea, absolutely, and we do want another, so hopefully not long after this, we'll be back out there," said Erica.
Kansas City Infertility Awareness will hold its annual conference this Saturday, April 30. For more information and to register, go to http://www.kcinfertility.org/2016-conference/
For more information on infertility treatment overseas, email firstname.lastname@example.org