BOSTON - It's an often private journey for many couples, but a prevalent struggle. In fact, one in eight couples will experience a form of infertility and about one in four will experience pregnancy loss.
"Because it's so private, a lot of people probably don't know that some of their loved ones are going through it," said Kate Weldon, executive director of RESOLVE New England.
Since 1974, RESOLVE has provided support, education and advocacy for those struggling to build their families. And in a society that still attaches stigmas to infertility, couples who are trying to conceive often question their life choices in addition to the struggle.
"They wonder if they waited too long, focused too much on their education or career," said Weldon. "You start to question whether you're a real woman or a real man if you can't do this basic human thing that so many other people take for granted."
Now, the conversation will be elevated, 51 stories high.
On Thursday night, RESOLVE will flip the switch to light up the top of the Prudential Tower as part of The Pru's 10th Annual 31 Nights of Light program.
The 31 Nights of Light program started in 2009 to celebrate local Boston-area organizations and draw attention to the great work they do in Boston and beyond. Every night in December, the top of The Pru will glow a different color to support different causes.
And for the first time, The Pru will beam orange as a beacon of light for families struggling with infertility.
And helping to flip the switch is Boston 25's Kerry Kavanaugh, who opened up about her own experience as her and her husband tried for years to start a family.
As she started sharing her story, she's met and heard from countless people who are also opening up the conversation, and paving the way for others to find strength before they begin a process that has no guarantees.
"As I was sharing my story, people would say, 'I can't believe you're telling people this,'" said Katie Lynch.
Another woman, Deana Tuefferd, admitted to feeling a bit of embarrassment when opening up about her journey. "I also felt a bit of shame," she said. "I would say definitely isolated, but shame of -- why can't I do this on my own?"
Many women who go through In vitro fertilization (IVF) to assist with conceiving, may not know anyone who is going through the same, which can add to the frustration.
"I didn't know anyone up close or even afar to be honest, that was going through IVF or was having trouble conceiving," said Shervonne Coney. "There’s just not a lot of conversation about it."
And RESOLVE, with the 31 Nights of Lights program, is trying to change that. And hoping to shed bright lights on an issue so many woman face.
"Support, in whatever form you find it, is so important," added Weldon.
In addition to the Prudential Center, Boston City Hall will also beam in orange on Thursday night.
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