Valley woman uses pregnancy struggle to help others

“So, these are my twins,” said Diana Thomas pointing to a picture frame in her office.

The journey to parenthood is often a bumpy one, something Thomas knows about firsthand.

“We all grow up with this idea we can have children, no one knows they can’t until they can’t,” said Thomas.

One in every eight couples in the U.S. faces issues with infertility. Back in the 90s, Thomas struggled to have her own child, eventually turning to what was at the time a new approach.

The approach? Finding and implanting a donor egg. The flaws in this process in the early days were quite apparent.

“You couldn’t see the donor, you couldn’t see her medical history,” said Thomas. “You had no information, couldn’t see any pictures and my thought was, this is going to be my child, I really should know more.”

At the time, she had to advertise herself and work with local attorneys to put contracts in place for an egg donor. While she now has three beautiful children, she was determined to change the process.

“Certainly, I wanted to improve the process for the person going through it, trying to have a child, the couple, I wanted to improve the experience for the egg donor,” said Thomas.

That’s when she founded the World Egg and Sperm Bank in Scottsdale.

Over nearly two decades, she grew the business into one of the leaders in the industry.

It’s the only egg and sperm bank in the U.S. that medically manages donors in a single, state-of-the-art facility.

Medical professionals work with donors from start to finish. Eggs and sperm are both collected on site, stored in cryogenic containers until they are shipped across the nation and world to hopeful parents.

Thomas also streamlined the donor selection process for would-be parents through an online database that allows them to intimately get to know their donor’s background.

“People can feel more comfortable finding somebody who looks like them, that might have similar characteristics,“ said Thomas. “You just click on those donors, and you have all their medical information online.”

Prospective parents can zero in on donors by ethnicity, eye color, height, personal story, education and even their genetics. Thomas has helped thousands achieve parenthood with no plans of slowing down.

“I feel very rich in life being able to help people have their children because I know how much people really want them and people who really want them make fantastic parents,” said Thomas.