WAUSAU, Wi. (WAOW)– The first annual DIY Walk of Hope took place Saturday afternoon.
The rain did not stop families and support networks from walking around Doepke Park in Wausau, raising awareness of interfertility.
Many families here in central Wisconsin have been trying for years to conceive a child. Walk of Hope was created to give those families a space and remind them they are not alone.
“You’re supposed to get married, you’re supposed to have babies,” said DIY Walk of Hope Co-chair Haylee Kaiser. “You’re supposed to have a family and when you can’t have that family you’re like what’s wrong with me?”
Kaiser story is not uncommon. One out of eight couples struggle with infertility.
Throughout the event people wore colorful beads depicting their journey with infertility, with each color representing a different path; rainbow baby, surrogacy, currently in treatment and more.
Katelyn Lang, Co-chair for DIY Walk of Hope, went through several attempts of fertility treatment and successfully had three children, but she says her job is not over yet.
“While my family is compete I’m not done advocating for everyone in the community,” Lang said.
Infertility treatments can be tiring, costly and put a strain on relationships. Kaiser said she and her husband spent well over $50,000 in treatments.
“A lot of places around here won’t take insurance for any infertility treatment so we traveled,” Lang said.
Both Lang and Kaiser have seen more and more women opening up about their journeys growing the community and the support available. Together the organizers want to build a support group in central Wisconsin to make sure no one feels alone.
The event was able to raise $4,000 dollars for Resolve the National Infertility Association and surpassed their original goal of $2,000 dollars.
For those struggling with infertility, Lang and Kaiser created a Facebook group at “1 in 8 Central Wisconsin” and “NIAW Walk of Hope Wausau, WI.”