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Dream to Believe: Nena Glass’ Journey with IVF

Indeed, everything is great for the Nena and Jarrett Glass, as inspiration was found within the NASCAR world!

Indeed, everything is great for the Nena and Jarrett Glass, as inspiration was found within the NASCAR world!

If you’ve heard of the adage that “it’s a small world,” it’s an appropriate way to describe the world of NASCAR for someone like Nena Glass.

In this day and age, the bonds that can be formed from a sport like NASCAR can be everlasting. Sometimes, that bond can be the catalyst to make lifelong dreams come true.

For Nena and her husband Jarrett, they have dreamed about becoming parents for four years. However, the young couple encountered a major obstacle in infertility.  In spite of this setback, they researched on how to combat infertility.

Last March, Nena and Jarrett pursued the process of In Vitro Fertilization, or IVF, to realize their dreams.  While learning of this process, the cost of electing for IVF would total nearly $20,000.

Financially, Nena and Jarrett spent about $4,000 out of their pocket. All of this went towards testing, medications, and various procedures.  It was safe to say that this already uphill challenge became more steep.

Just two months after electing for IVF, Nena and Jarrett received an e-mail from Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Some good news came to these racing enthusiasts, as they were selected to be Daniel Suarez’s guests for the Monster Energy NASCAR All Star Race.

Naturally, Nena and Jarrett were excited to attend this special event and looked forward to meeting the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion.  Once they arrived at the track, they were greeted by Lori Halbeisen, the public relations manager for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

As Nena and Jarrett walked into a motorcoach at the track, cameras greeted them, and the excitement became a feeling of suspense. The couple pondered about the contest that possibly won them this opportunity.  Furthermore, they considered the kinds of questions to ask Daniel Suarez once he appeared.

Lo and behold, Nena and Jarrett were greeted by Kyle and Samantha Busch, changing the mood from suspense to total elation and euphoria.  Indeed, on this day, it was not just an ordinary trip to the race track.

Instead, Nena and Jarrett received $10,000 from Kyle and Samantha Busch’s Bundle of Joy Fund.  Like Kyle Busch famously said last season, “everything is great.”

Nevertheless, Nena and Jarrett’s journey with IVF hasn’t concluded.  While they are expecting to welcome their first baby this July, they want to raise awareness of IVF and reach out to other couples who struggle with infertility.

Combating the high costs and the stigmas stemming from this challenge are some of the topics that Nena and Jarrett seek to raise awareness for not only NASCAR fans, but any couple across the country.  Suffice to say, they realize how fortunate they are to receive the kindness and support from Kyle and Samantha Busch.

Kindness and understanding are just some of the ways that all of us can assist couples like Nena and Jarrett.  Learning about their story and raising awareness to erase the stigmas and reduce the financial burdens with IVF are just as important.

Let’s learn more about Nena and Jarrett, their challenges, and that fateful day that changed their world forever in this special feature on The Podium Finish!

Rob Tiongson : One of the neatest things about the racing world is how close knit it is regardless of driver or team allegiance. Your story is quite special with your journey and desire to become a parent. Talk about your journey with IVF and how NASCAR has been a part of it.

Nena Glass :  NASCAR became apart of our IVF journey when my husband Jarrett and I received a $10,000 grant from Kyle and Samantha Busch. They have a charity with an IVF clinic here in Charlotte, NC. Kyle and Samantha underwent IVF to have their son Brexton. After seeing how expensive IVF is, Kyle and Samantha, started the Bundle of Joy fund to assist couples with the higher cost of IVF, which typically is not covered by insurance.

RT :  It had to be quite touching and wonderful to receive such a nice, thoughtful gift from Kyle and Samantha. As you mentioned, they went through a journey similar to yours and Jarrett. Do you keep in touch with each other about any happenings and the recent good news that you received?

NG :  What Kyle and Samantha did for us was life changing. We are now expecting a baby in July. That kind of gift can never be repaid. What I want people to know most is just how involved Kyle and Samantha are with this charity. They have stayed in constant contact with us since we received the grant.

Samantha will text me to check on how I’m doing. I know I can ask her advise on anything about the IVF process and she will respond. It has been very meaningful that I have had Samantha’s support through the ups and downs of the entire process.

Because she has been through the exact same thing, it is easy to confide in her. When we received news that we were expecting, Samantha is one of the first I told.

RT :  In many ways, it goes to show just how real these remarkable individuals are and how they dispel perception. What the Bundle of Joy Fund has done is amazing over the years.  How do you hope your story and others who’ve been through the same journey as you can help change the stigma with IVF?

NG :  The stigma around IVF really starts with how infertility as a whole in viewed in our country. The United States is just one of a few nations that doesn’t view infertility for what it is, which is a health issue. Slowly, that is starting to change. 1 in 8 couples will face difficulty when it comes to getting pregnant.

Those numbers are only one the rise. When you can’t get pregnant, you feel like you are the only one but it’s just not true. This is such a common thing. Being able to share our story can hopefully help others see they are not alone. When we received the grant, we had so many people reach out to us to offer support because they had been through it, and we never knew.

RT :  I think that’s perhaps one of the greatest takeaways from the Bundle of Joy Fund. Knowing how others have experienced a similar path, I have to imagine it brings some comfort that things will be alright. Does it sort of put things in full circle with how you found your way into the sport? And has your journey made you feel like you can inspire others?

NG :  I have always been a race fan. I can remember watching Kyle race when he was just a teenager. During his rookie season my friend Jennifer and I met Kyle at the Bristol race. Never could I have imagined that years later Kyle Busch would do something that would have such an impact on my life.

For many years, I worked in the sport so I knew of Kyle and Samantha’s work with Bundle of Joy. Samantha has said that they knew they had to go through those struggles for a reason which lead them to start the fund. When we received the grant, I felt the same way. I knew that all of this was happening for a reason. We want to use being recipients of Bundle of Joy as a platform to raise awareness for those with infertility.

RT :  That’s perhaps one of the best things about our sport. Regardless of our roles, support can be found and our paths can coalesce. How excited are you, Jarrett, and your families with the upcoming birth of your child in July?  Do you look forward to the day that Kyle and Samantha meet your little one in the near future?

Last year, Nena and Jarrett Glass received a grant from Kyle and Samantha Busch, a moment they'll never forget!

Last year, Nena and Jarrett Glass received a grant from Kyle and Samantha Busch, a moment they’ll never forget!

NG :  July can’t get here soon enough for us. We have waited so long to become parents. Our families are over the moon. They have been along on the journey with us. When Kyle and Samantha met to give us the grant they also gifted us with a racing themed onesie. I already have that reserved as the “going home from hospital” outfit.

We would absolutely love to introduce the baby to Kyle and Samantha. I think that is a must have photo since without them our baby wouldn’t have been here.

RT :  I’d say your little one will be as remarkable and caring as you and your loved ones! What are some ways that fans can help with Bundle of Joy Fund and assisting those who’ve dealt with IVF?

NG :  Helping Bundle of Joy is easy. They can make a donation directly to the Kyle Busch Foundation. So many times you donate to a charity without ever getting to see the results of how your donation might have helped.

With Bundle of Joy, it is very easy to see when a new baby is born. There are currently 12 Bundle of Joy babies and two more on the way. Just a few weeks ago, Samantha gave out $75,000 in grants to more couples. There are not a lot of charities like this so the need for donations is always there.

RT :  We’ll be sure to share and raise awareness for donations with Bundle of Joy throughout this season. Will you be finding out about your baby’s gender on the day of their birth or plan to find out prior to July?

NG :  We actually already know the gender but are keeping that a surprise until later this month. We have a gender reveal planned with our families.

RT :  That’ll be exciting when that time comes for them! And we look forward to the big day when your baby’s here. What’s perhaps the best advice or encouragement you’ve been given to this day with your journey?  Also, what would you like to say to those who may be experiencing something similar to you who may need that encouragement for support/help?

NG :  The best advice I got was something I read online. It was to give yourself something to always focus on that isn’t in any way related to infertility or IVF.

We did just that. Also, we made sure that at least once a month, we would plan to do something fun that gave us something to look forward to. We did stuff like drive to look at the solar eclipse, attend our favorite NFL teams training camp, and of course, we took in a few NASCAR races too.

So that would be my advice to anyone going though this. It is easy to get depressed and want to just hide away from everything but giving yourself something fun to look forward to can really help.

Author’s Notes :  Special thanks to Nena Glass for sharing her wonderful and inspirational story to us and NASCAR nation!  With folks like her, it shows that dreams can become reality!  If you’d like to follow along with Nena and Jarrett in their journey with IVF, be sure to visit their blog.  Meanwhile, to learn more about Kyle and Samantha Busch’s Bundle of Joy Fund and make a donation, visit their website and be a difference maker to help those like Nena and Jarrett!

Rob Tiongson is a 30-something motorsports journalist who enjoys sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field and hockey. A Boston native turned Austinite, racing was the first sport that caught his eyes. From interviews to retrospective articles, if it's about anything with an engine and four wheels, it'll be here on TPF, by him or by one of his talented columnists who have a passion for racing. Currently seeking a sports writing, public relations, or sports marketing career, particularly in motorsports. He enjoys editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography. Moreover, he enjoys time with his family and friends, traveling, cooking, working out and being a fun uncle or "funcle" to his nephew, niece and cat. Tiongson, a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, pursues his Master of Arts in Digital Journalism at St. Bonaventure University. Indeed, while Tiongson is proud to be from Massachusetts, he's an everywhere kind of man residing in Texas.

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