A miracle baby for our community but many more waiting

October 29, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Our community was introduced to Janine and Shimon Davidowitz last year, when over 2,000 people were immersed in their fertility struggles through Part One of a world first-documentary that screened at the Australian Jewish Fertility Network (AJFN)’s Major Event.

Janine and Shimon Davidowitz with Gad and Levi

Their complete untold story and IVF journey now features as part of the full film, titled ‘One in Six’, which will be shown at an exclusive advanced-screening during AJFN’s 2021 Major Event, before being premiered on national TV and international screens next year. The film draws its title from the one in six couples in the community who experience infertility.

Janine and Shimon’s IVF cycle was funded with the financial support from the community, along with 45 other couples, who received financial and emotional support from AJFN following the event.

“This film is raw, gritty, emotional and ultimately uplifting,” said Kerry Gonski, who is Chair of the AJFN. “For those of us who have been through IVF, we are right there with Janine and Shimon for the retrieval, the moment their little miracle is created, the embryo transfer and the agonising wait for the phone calls from the clinic to tell you how things are progressing.”

“And for those who haven’t experienced infertility, it gives a frank and intimate insight into the journey,” said Ms Gonski. “We all know someone who has struggled to fall pregnant, but we may not understand their experience or they may have chosen not to share their difficulties. Through Janine and Shimon’s bravery and openness, we can offer support by better understanding what they are going through and bringing the conversation into the open.”

Janine and Shimon were in the studio of last year’s live streamed event, hoping and praying for a positive outcome, “not just for us, but for all those who made our journey possible,” said Ms Davidowitz. “The power of the community coming together on the night was palpable.”

“The audience were riveted by Shimon and Janine’s candour and the unprecedented access to every stage of the process, but it was just Part One” said Ms Gonski.

Shortly after the Major Event, the couple received the news that their treatment had finally been successful and they were expecting a baby. The film has now been completed; an entirely new cut that details their full journey (including the birth of their miracle baby), in 30 must-see minutes.

Reflecting on their baby, Ms Davidowitz said that “what we have been given is the gift of a lifetime. A lifetime of brothers – of laughing together, playing with one another and plenty of rough and tumble.”

Over the past year, 8 AJFN babies have been born, bringing the total to 36 miracles babies since its inception. “Each of these children play a very important role in not only their own families, but in continuing to build our community,” said Ms Gonski.

This year there has also once again been an increase in demand due to lockdowns. Requests for AJFN’s financial and emotional support have risen by over 300% in the past year. Ms Gonski shares that “unfortunately, in 2021, the Pandemic has once again hit hard. We have seen the lockdowns impact people financially as well as people becoming increasingly isolated, and they have been reaching out to us for support more than ever.  We currently have 29 couples who need our help to give them a chance to try to achieve their dreams of a baby. No-one should ever feel alone on their fertility journey. ”

The 45-minute online event will take place on Monday 8 November at 8.00pm and will feature an exclusive pre-screening of the One in Six documentary with Janine and Shimon’s IVF story. Bookings are free but essential at ajfn.org.au.

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