Commerce Township — Soon after Julie and Bill VanDerworp got married in 1993, they started trying to have a baby. Although she was 27 and he was 30, the young couple was unable to conceive a child.
Eventually they tried fertility drugs and procedures. Still, no baby.
As the years passed, they tried conceiving with an egg donor. But it wasn’t until they turned to a donor whose eggs had been frozen with new technology that she finally got pregnant. Late last year, after spending nearly $200,000 and trying for more than a decade, the VanDerworps gave birth to a son they named Kent.
“It’s been such a long journey, such a long road,” Julie VanDerworp said. “But I still can’t believe my luck. (Having Kent) is everything I thought it would be. It’s so rewarding.”
The VanDerworps got the frozen egg from a donor in Michigan’s first “egg bank” — made possible by a reproductive technology that allows women to freeze their eggs so they can bear children later in life or after a cancer treatment, which typically leaves women infertile. The egg bank also can be used by women who are either infertile, like VanDerworp, or struggle with genetic issues they don’t want their children to inherit by using an egg that’s been donated by another woman.