Week one – An introduction to my egg donation
I’m Sam, aged 30 and I work in business development in York. But one of the more interesting facts I can share about myself is that I’m to be an egg donor and assist couples who can’t have children without a little bit of help. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to share with you the ins and outs of what it means to be an egg donor; the practical side of the treatment, working with clinics and the personal implications of what giving eggs has meant for me. There were definitely some highs, some lows and some unexpected laughs along the way!
I’m a pretty helpful person; I like to get involved and make a positive difference if I can. I’ve given blood and been on the bone marrow list for years; because of this, I felt really surprised to realise I’d never given any thought to being an egg donor. But then it occurred to me. Donating eggs was something I’d actually heard nothing about, until I spotted an advert in the Guardian Sunday supplement one sunny May bank holiday and I immediately thought ‘I can help this couple’. Two years on I’ve donated to three couples and I’m about to help my fourth. Maybe I was a little more likely to want to help infertile couples, given that I’ve seen friends and family suffer terrible heartbreak with their journeys to have children. One friend has suffered multiple miscarriages and my cousin was infertile for many years with endometriosis. I remember feeling frustrated and upset that there was nothing I could do to help either of them and being exposed to their pain and desperation for a child really stayed with me.
When I became involved with egg donation, I read a lot of information on the National Gamete Donation Trust website, which was invaluable to me. A particular support was the Yahoo forum group set up for people who already had, or were taking an interest in, donating eggs or sperm. I signed up for the forum and was fascinated at the questions that came from potential donors and the responses they received from those members with firsthand experience. When the NGDT asked if I’d like to get involved with the Give Hope, Give Life campaign, I was thrilled. It feels good to give something back, because of the terrific information and support I received when I was making my decision. Now I’m passionate about sharing my story and encouraging other women to consider donating their eggs.
Given my involvement in egg donation was out of pure chance – an advert in a Sunday supplement – I want women to have a greater awareness of the campaign, what they can do to help and to ask themselves ‘is this something I could do?’. It was the right decision for me, as I’m sure it would be for many other women.