Camille and her husband at the 2015 Footsteps for Fertility event.
Utah Infertility Resource Center was founded by Camille Hawkins in September 2015. Earlier that year, Camille and her husband attended the Footsteps for Fertility 5K event in Salt Lake City.
As Camille connected with others impacted by infertility and spoke with the vendors at the event, Camille’s suspicions were confirmed—Utah’s Infertility Population was being under-served.
"I was desperate for some peace in my life after receiving information about my infertility. I could not talk about it without crying. It was so nice to talk with someone who understood what I was going through but also a professional who had gone through it themselves."
In 2010, Camille was diagnosed with unexplained infertility and felt completely and utterly alone. She remembered seeing a Facebook post from a Jr. High acquaintance about her infertility journey. She reached out to an acquaintance, M'Recia Seegmiller, the only person she knew of who was facing the same issue, to see if M'Recia knew of any infertility support groups. M’Recia invited Camille to join the Utah Infertility Support Group —a online group dedicated to infertility support.
Through her involvement with the Utah Infertility Support Group, Camille formed a friendship with its creator, Aupera Van Huizen. Many years ago, Aupera was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve and had nowhere to turn. There were no local forums or groups for support. So she created the Utah Infertility Support Group facebook page. Gradually, individuals were added to the group and over the next three years, the group grew to over 500 members.
After experiencing a miscarriage following an expensive and invasive IVF procedure, Camille was devastated and heart-broken. She couldn’t handle the grief alone and sought an in-person infertility support group, but came up empty handed. In March 2014. Camille & Aupera partnered together to create the Salt Lake Infertility Support Group. This in-person group quickly grew into a wonderful network of support.
Over time, Camille continued to notice a gap in services for Utah’s infertility community. She wondered why there were not more resources out there for Utah couples dealing with infertility. Camille hoped to use her skills one day as a counselor to help couples with the emotional and social impact of their infertility journey. But, after attending the Footsteps for Fertility 5K, she realized more support and education could not wait. Couples are suffering with nowhere to turn for support. Individuals lack education about infertility and feel depressed and isolated, even though it is a common issue. They experience a lack of awareness from their friends and family. Baby making, after all, is a personal and private matter and not usually a topic brought up at family dinners.
Talking stick used at Salt Lake Infertility Support Group Meetings. Each Ribbon represents 1 year of infertility by a member of the group
Camille’s research showed that there had been groups and individuals who advocated for and attended to the needs of Utah’s infertility population in the past but the gap continued to exist because there was not a dedicated organization in Utah to provide direct support to those struggling with infertility, education for Utah’s infertility population as a whole, and to be an interface between organizations and people not associated with infertility. People just don't know where to turn, and they need a safe place dedicated to helping them navigate their infertility journey. Camille knew this organization needed to exist.
Camille shared her idea to a few colleagues who were eager to join the cause. Each of them had experienced years of infertility, years of feeling alone, and knew they had to join together so that Utah can finally have the support, education, and awareness that those struggling with infertility desperately need. Days later, UIRC was officially created. We now have many services dedicated to those struggling to build their family and are proud to be fulfilling our mission.