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IVF babies funded through lottery win and radio contest

25 November 2019
Appeared in BioNews 1025

Lottery winnings and a 'Win a Baby' radio contest have given would-be parents an unusual way of funding IVF

As the UK's National Lottery marks 25 years since it first started running in 1994, stories have emerged about the case of a winner using her cash for IVF.

Jackpot winner, Rebecca Brown from Nottinghamshire, was told to 'have children sooner rather than later' after she was diagnosed as having pre-cancerous cells of the cervix. Doctors had warned her that she might need to have her womb surgically removed and, therefore, be unable to have a baby. 

When this turned out not to be the case, and after winning the lottery in 2016, Brown was able to fund two cycles of IVF treatment. She became pregnant and is due to deliver early next year.

'I was poorly last year and I thought, I want to do it, I've got to. I was able to pay for it so I did,' Brown said, according to the Daily Mail newspaper. 

Meanwhile in the USA, the first winners of a Florida radio station's 'Win A Baby' contest have had a baby through IVF funded by the competition. Radio presenter, Jason Jones in Cape Coral, first introduced the radio competition after he and his wife experienced infertility.

The winning Florida couple, Anthony and Krista Rivera welcomed the birth of their baby son Garrett recently. 'It's crazy, I never ever thought that we would, you know, 'win a baby' as they say,' Krista Rivera told CBS News.

'I just kind of put our story together, told them how we met and how much we loved each other and how much we wanted a family and why we had to put those plans on hold,' she added.

It is not the first time that a radio station has hosted an unusual way of giving winning couples a free, funded cycle of IVF treatment. A Canadian radio station that hosted a 'Win a Baby' competition in 2011 (see BioNews 624) was condemned, while other people supported the contest saying that it helped couples by giving them the chance to have a free cycle of IVF, which otherwise they would not have been able to afford. 

The Florida radio station plans to continue the contest on a yearly basis.

17 December 2018 - by Ewa Zotow 
Sixty-two percent of private IVF patients paid 'more than they expected' for treatment, according to the first national patient survey by the HFEA.
15 October 2012 - by Daniel Malynn 
'Win a Baby' follows the trials and tribulations of Camille Strachan, a former City worker and model, who plans to launch the UK's first IVF lottery. Unlike many documentaries where the maker's own thoughts are thrust in front of anyone else's, the commentary is fairly neutral, allowing viewers space to form their own opinions...
12 September 2011 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis 
A Canadian radio station has caused shock by announcing a competition in which contestants will compete for the chance to win a baby. The event is even being promoted by an advert featuring a baby holding up a sign saying 'Win me!'...
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