CHARLOTTE, N.C. - For couples struggling to become parents, the journey to overcome infertility can be difficult, emotional and expensive.
Meanwhile, many friends and family members struggle with how to be supportive.
A new documentary is helping not just couples but also those who care about them.
Students in the master's degree program in communication studies at UNC Charlotte created the documentary. Professors Dr. Margaret Quinlan and Bethany Johnson designed the project, after Johnson’s own experience with infertility.
“Any disappointment I had or any struggle I had, I felt like I was constantly talking with other people who understood,” Johnson said.
Students interviewed more than 20 people across the country to see the diagnosis from every point of view.
Studnet Cameron Davis said the project turned into a mission to show couples they have support.
“I know what not to say to people who are going through fertility treatments and I think I would be a much better friend to someone,” Davis said.
Davis also learned about the importance of sensitivity, such as not offering advice or asking when someone will have children.
“We’ve worked with professional artists and graphic designers to design greeting cards to give to people going through the treatment,” Quinlan said.
Students hope the project will reach beyond campus to help people understand the intimate and emotional journey of infertility.
“If you can’t bridge the gap between academics and people in the community, what have you really done?” Davis said.
The project will be a part of a traveling exhibit called "The Art of Infertility." Students also hope to enter the documentary in film competitions.
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