On Wednesday we held our fourth information evening for recipients. Despite the terrible event at Westminster, an impressive 80 people braved the disruption to come along to hear the speakers and meet the Altrui team. We are extremely grateful to the speakers who gave up their time to talk to the group.
Zoe, one of Altrui’s amazing donors, gave a very clear talk about what led to her deciding to donate her eggs and a first-hand account of just what it is like to go through the egg donation process as a donor. She also described what a great reaction she had received from everyone she knows for volunteering, and urged those needing donated eggs to speak openly about this to encourage other young women to come forward as egg donors.
Dr Anna Carby, a consultant from Boston Place Fertility Clinic, explained the clinical side of the egg donation process in an extremely clear and concise talk covering exactly what happens once donors and recipients are referred to the clinic. Drawing on her personal experience of working with our egg donors, she was able to enlighten the audience about the pathway that donors follow and how this links to the treatment for recipients.
Following her, Dr Virginia Bolton, consultant embryologist from Guys and St Thomas’ ACU, gave a fascinating insight into what happens in the laboratory after egg collection. This is a world that few of us ever get to hear about, and her fluent description of the scientific processes that lead from the eggs being collected from the donor, through the subsequent development of the embryos and blastocysts, to the embryo transfer to the recipient, was fascinating.
Finally Joan, a recipient, gave a very moving account of her personal journey through egg donation from a recipient’s perspective. She talked openly and warmly about their disappointment caused by their own fertility problems and then the struggle to come to terms with what it might be like to have a child from donated eggs. The fact that she was accompanied by her child from that donation brought home the wonderful reality of egg donation and we were left in no doubt that the genetic distinction in no way took away from the fact that to her he was truly her child.
The evening ended with an opportunity for those present to put their own particular questions to the expert panel. We at Altrui loved meeting everyone that came and, judging by the many complimentary comments that we received, they clearly found it extremely helpful to hear first-hand accounts of the different aspects of egg donation.
Thank you once again, to the brilliant speakers and to those of you who came to listen.