You helped Jenny, a woman with Leukemia, become a Mum! Go Rocco will now help others with Cancer make families and continue to raise awareness about Cancer and Fertility.
Got Heart? Select unique artwork and art services from the gallery below to help those with Cancer make families.
Anyone who has fought Cancer or Infertility, or both. Anyone still fighting. Anyone who has loved
and supported someone who has fought Cancer or Infertility, or both. Anyone supporting someone
still fighting. Anyone who loves children. Anyone who loves art. Anyone who values education.
Anyone who prioritizes health. Anyone who has loved. And anyone who has been loved.
To help others with Cancer make families
To raise awareness about Cancer and Fertility
Go Rocco has brought together a strong community of Artists, Educators and Health Practitioners passionately working toward our goal. Thanks to your generous contributions during our Indiegogo Crowdfunding campaign late 2014, and to Go Rocco Continues on-line and at art shows in 2015 + 2016, we've raised a lot of awareness about Cancer, Parenting, Fertility and Oncofertility. I had the honour of being interviewed on CTV's Canada AM in Fall 2015 and was a guest speaker at Fertile Future's An Evening of Hope. We also raised $47,000! In addition, Canadian Fertility Consultants and Flowerday Law contributed an estimated $13,000. Beautiful. This means that after Crowdfunding fees, together we have raised approximately $60,000 total. What a success - Thank you!
Go Rocco 2014 - 2016 - Help a woman with Leukemia become a Mum - a success! We did it! We raised the minimum required funds, found our strong beautiful surrogate, transferred our underdog fighter Rocco and now I am very happy to announce that Rocco has arrived! You have made my dreams come true. I am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now that Rocco is here we will help others with Cancer make families. I work as an Illustrator, Photographer, Painter, Designer, Editor and Arts Educator. When you select artwork and art services from the gallery above, part of the proceeds will be donated to the Fertile Future Power of Hope Program. Check back with us as new artwork and art services will be frequently uploaded.
Share! Share! Share!
Please help us reach out to as many people as possible. The more we share, the more love is out there. By sharing you help those who are facing infertility, feel less alone. By sharing you help those who are diagnosed with Cancer, realize their potential to preserve their fertility and become parents. You can share via Email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and word of mouth!
The Impact of Your Contribution
Your contribution will directly help those with Cancer incur the expenses of IVF and Surrogacy, making dreams come true.
Your contribution will help raise awareness about the link between Cancer and Fertility. Oncofertility is a growing field. The more we open the discussion up, the more people will benefit by preserving their fertility once diagnosed with Cancer.
Your contribution will help us fight for life! Your contribution will help us fight with love!
Help fight stigma against Cancer
Help fight stigma against Parenting with Cancer
Help fight stigma against IVF
Help fight stigma against Surrogacy
Help us Educate and Inform
Help us Fight!
In my life the one thing I have always known is that I want to be a Mother. I now know for certain I cannot do this alone. I am a single, self-employed Artist, Arts Educator and Founder of The Raise-an-Artist Project. I have dedicated my life's work to mentoring children using art as a means for expression. I was the type of kid who loved other kids. I was always teaching, counselling and coaching. I dreamed of what my kids would one day be like; keeping lists of their potential names. From the age of ten, my volunteer and work experience has been focused on children, education and art. Being a Mum was something I wanted my whole life. As a single woman in my early thirties, I decided to embark on this journey by prioritizing health – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and financial and I began the adoption process. I did not have the means to adopt internationally or privately. When a friend suggested I adopt through The Children’s Aid Society I felt that this was a good fit, as I had prior experience teaching and counselling many children who were affiliated with CAS.
For three years I pursued adoption through The Children's Aid Society. This process was extremely thorough and intense and involved parenting classes, home stay evaluations, written reports, surveys, Adoption Resource Exchanges and board meetings with children’s workers and families. The process was lengthy and difficult. After several years in this pursuit, as I could not find my child, my focus expanded into wanting to have a child naturally. During the initial screening for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) I learned that I have Leukemia. Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. CML is a Blood Cancer that affects the bone marrow. It is not caused by environment, lifestyle or genetic factors. Getting it is just dumb luck. However, as far as Cancers go, this kind of Leukemia is treatable and patients live long, happy, stable lives. Had I not gone in to become a Mother I would not have found out that I have Leukemia.Taking the step to become a Mum saved my life.
After being diagnosed with Leukemia I was advised by my Doctor to immediately begin IVF to retrieve my eggs, before starting a lifetime of chemotherapy. I then found out that my ovarian reserve was quite low due to the Leukemia. And so, in one month I underwent IVF medication, cycle monitoring, trips to the Cancer clinic, daily blood work for Cancer and IVF, x-rays, ultrasounds, a bone marrow biopsy and an egg retrieval. This was a very intense month. There was an overwhelming amount of information to learn and to process, during which I worked full time and commuted to the doctors. Coping with being diagnosed at the same time as undergoing IVF and egg retrieval was an incredible amount for me to handle. One of these is more than enough for anyone to handle, let alone both at the same time. I only did so with the help of my friends and family. My heart goes out to anyone having to do so. But, the result of this month was one strong, viable blastocyst embryo! This embryo was preserved for me to implant once I had adjusted to my Leukemia treatment. There was hope then that I would one day take a holiday from the Gleevec (oral chemotherapy) in order to carry my baby. Getting pregnant while on this medication is not possible as the radiation will harm the foetus. I soon learned that taking a drug holiday to carry my own child would not be the most practical solution; we only have one shot at this so it is wiser to implant into a fertile body. And so, IUI (insemination) was out due to the Leukemia and Embryo Transfer was out due to the Gleevec. This left me with Surrogacy.
Why We are Supporting Fertile Future
This is a remarkable non-profit organization that aspires to ensure every young Canadian diagnosed with Cancer will have the opportunity and means to have a child. Their mission is to inform, educate and support Cancer patients who are facing fertility-risking medical treatment. My wish is that those whose fertility is threatened by Cancer treatments are aware that this incredible organization is available.
Who is Involved
Leia Swanberg of Canadian Fertility Consultants and Michelle Flowerday of Flowerday Law are instrumental in making Go Rocco a reality.
To Leia and Michelle: this is happening because of you and your incredible generosity. I am forever grateful to you both. Thank you for hearing me and for believing in me.
To my Go Rocco campaign team Jenny Allen, Laura Anderson and Jessica Parkinson: You are brilliant. You are my stars.
To all of my friends and family: thank you for contributing your time, your work, your advice and your love. Your faith in me has saves me. Again and again. Thank you.
To anyone who supports our campaign: your beautiful hearts are all a part of Rocco. Thank you so much!
All Bases Covered
Jenny purchased Life Insurance for her kid-to-be and selected a Guardian six years ago when she started the Adoption process. Way to go Mum!
In preparation to Adopt Jenny took months of parenting classes, did many exercises and wrote papers considering every detail of her family history, her childhood, her strengths and weakness as a parent, her motivations for wanting to be a Mother; she prepared her home for her child and was approved to raise her child by The Children’s Aid Society. Wow!
Jenny has been caring for kids in a very practical, real way since she was 17. She spent most of her summers until 25 learning to mother at an overnight camp for inner city girls ages 4 to 14 sponsored by The Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Here Jenny learned to counsel. Here Jenny learned to parent. She was on duty 24hrs / day for one week sessions. She was on the go all day running fun activities, counselling, managing behavioural issues, helping kids learn to trust and to attach and was often up through the night nurturing her campers through nightmares, illness, homesickness and more. So Inspiring!
Jenny is strong and healthy and has loads of energy. Her Leukemia does not limit her capabilities nor does it pose any threat to her life. She is stable. She is extremely health conscious in her lifestyle and has been for many years – well before she was diagnosed. Jenny works hard; she plays hard and has done so straight through since being diagnosed. Her Doctors support her choice to become a Mother. Yay Jenny!
All Systems Go
Jenny is more than ready to be a parent. Jenny is intelligent, grounded and practical. She is a planner. A detailed perfectionist. Jenny would never make a decision that involves a child's life without practical planning. If you know Jenny, then you know this. Jenny is also a big thinker and a big dreamer who makes things happen. She is both. She is the head and the heart. She is a critical thinker - a writer, editor, a detailed pen and ink illustrator and she is an emotional empath - an expressive arts facilitator who paints big, bold, colourful abstracts. Jenny is not one or the other. She is both. Her child will be very lucky.
Jenny has a very strong supportive network on hand to help her. She has built a true, loving community. Her family, friends and clients are behind her and ready to help. Amazing!
Hear from Jenny's student:
I have grown to love art and have found an inner peace through painting and drawing, and that's because of Jenny. Jenny plays a huge role in my life as my mentor and as my best friend. Jenny has taught me how to live freely and to do what I love. Without Jenny life wouldn't be the same. I know Jenny will be a great Mother. She is a trustworthy, intelligent, caring individual who deserves to have her dreams come true. I don't look at Jenny as just my Art Teacher, but as family.
Hear from Jenny's client:
My family has known Jenny for 5 years, and our lives are truly much richer as a result. Whenever I think of Jenny, I smile. She is open-hearted, generous and caring, but she is also gregarious and fun-loving. She loves to laugh, and she finds the good and the positive in every situation and every person. Jenny is a nurturer. She nurtures the creativity in her students and she nurtures their self-esteem, helping them find the courage to display their art in shows and to publish their writing for all to read (when it would otherwise languish inside a pen-filled notebook hidden under the bed). Jenny is in tune with what kids want and need, and she can read their moods, body language and facial expressions with unerring accuracy. She intuitively knows when a hug, a word of encouragement or a silent pat on the back is needed. My 15 year old daughter and my 10 year old son adore Jenny, and look forward to seeing her each week in happy anticipation of spending time with someone who understands them, genuinely enjoys being with them and encourages them to be their best. Jenny is more than an Art Teacher - she is a mentor and a friend to her students. Jenny will be a truly wonderful mother. It breaks my heart that she has faced so many roadblocks in her journey and I hope and pray her dreams will become a reality. My family will support her in any way we can.
Hear from Jenny’s friend:
There has never been a time when Jenny wasn't there for me. She is a true friend. She listens to my heart with her heart. With real love, she challenges me to be my biggest, bravest self. Jenny is honest and strong and she forges a way in the world that is true to her spirit. By living this way, she inspires me to do the same. Jenny's child will be very lucky. He or she will be loved utterly, cared for thoroughly and will grow into their biggest, bravest self with Jenny's guidance.