Veterans In Vitro Initiative

The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was hit by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Since then, we have led an enduring call to action for people to stand up for heroes to meet the emerging and long-term needs of today’s veterans. To date, we have invested nearly $70 million in programs that empower veterans, service members and their family members.

Why VIVA?

The foundation started because the Woodruffs went through something that no family wants to face: a catastrophically wounded family member, an immediate transition from spouse/parent to caregiver, and an uncertain future.

Supporting programs that help veterans start a family is rooted in the BWF mission—to find, fund, and shape innovative programs that help veterans, service members, and their families thrive. Fertility assistance services are also part of the personal story of Bob and Lee Woodruff, whose twin daughters were conceived via in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

An enduring focus on outcomes

VIVA grant recipients who responded to a BWF survey emphasized appreciation for the financial and emotional support, and for the information provided. And we are delighted to report that 9 beautiful babies and 1 pregnancy have been born thanks to VIVA’s support. In 2020 alone we have given 10 grants to 10 veterans totaling over $46K. And our support since VIVA’s inception in 2017 speaks for itself:

stats about the VIVA program

BWF complements the VA IFV program

BWF initially launched VIVA to address an immediate need until the VA could begin providing IVF services. Since then, Congress repealed the legal restrictions that prevented VA from providing IVF treatment to veterans with service-related injuries. While the VA continues to train and inform their internal staff, BWF has helped some veterans navigate the VA benefits.

At this time, VIVA remains both a complement and a necessary adjunct to the VA program. Given its more inclusive eligibility criteria, VIVA can assist couples who are not eligible for the VA program. VIVA also differs from the VA in the following aspects:

  • VIVA funds the use of donor sperm and eggs, surrogates, genetictesting
  • VIVA doesn’t require legal marriage
  • VIVA eligibility criteria are more flexible with regard to the nature of the service-related wound or injury, or the applicant’s age
  • VIVA’s application process is faster—and speed is important to women over the age of 40

We need your help to continue this incredible veteran family program

With your help, we can to continue to meet this urgent need! We have more applicants in our pipeline than we can support, but with your help we can increase the number of families that we can help. A $5,000 investment provides one full cycle of IVF treatment and the opportunity for new life. Please donate!

For more information, please contact carly.evans@bobwoodrufffoundation.org

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