2013 ‘I Believe’ Video Journal Project – Dr. Sher Explains
The exciting news coming out of Sher Institute this week is the launch the 2013 ‘I Believe’ Video Journal Project – http://haveababy.com/announcements/i-believe-video-journal-project/.
This project is near and dear to my heart. In the three decades I have been practicing IVF, I have always focused on consumer advocacy, raising awareness and donating my time and expertise to couples in need. The beauty of this project is that it encompasses all three of these elements.
“I Believe” is an online contest wherein prospective patients submit a video chronicling their infertility journey. These videos are heartfelt, emotional, human dramas. You can’t watch these videos without becoming personally invested. This will be the third incarnation of the project and each year it gets bigger.
Many have criticized the contest as a marketing ploy for Sher Institute. I am not ashamed of the fact that yes, we do benefit from the additional exposure. But I can tell you that the genesis of the contest was to help struggling couples and to elevate the dialogue nationally about infertility. I think we have achieved these objectives.
The joy I personally get from watching the winners go through their IVF cycles and have babies is immeasurable. Yet I am also heartened by the feedback we receive from the participants who didn’t win. These non-winners tell us time and time again how the project has changed their lives for the better; connecting them with others who share their plight; educating them to various treatment options and availing themselves to the good will of others as was the case for one participant last year who adopted a baby after an expectant mother saw their video and gave them her newborn son.
I can promise you that we at SIRM painstakingly review every video that is submitted. The judging entails many levels taking into account the popular vote on the internet, review by an internal SIRM panel comprised of doctors, nurses and support staff and finally, a panel of external SIRM infertility activists and experts.
The process is inherently flawed. There is simply no fair way to judge one person’s pain vs. another; to deem one couple more worthy than the next. However, after much internal deliberation we decided that the process was as fair as possible and it is ultimately better to help some than help none.
This year, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker is producing a documentary about the project. You can learn more about Amanda Micheli and her impressive credentials at www.runawayfilms.com. Amanda is going through IVF herself as we speak, and is committed to making a film that explores infertility from an objective and empathetic point of view.
If you would like to submit a video, you can do so here http://haveababy.com/announcements/i-believe-video-journal-project/. If you would like to video videos already submitted, click here – http://haveababy.com/believe-2013-videos/
My heartfelt admiration for all of those who entered, willingly baring your souls to the world on video. Good luck to all of you. You are all winners in our hearts and minds.
We hope that this project helps you find reasons to ‘Believe” that your dream can happen too.