Karen Garloch

Kyle and Samantha Busch helping infertile couples afford treatment

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch smiles as he listens to a reporter’s question during the NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch smiles as he listens to a reporter’s question during the NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, February 16, 2016. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

NASCAR driver Kyle Busch and his wife, Samantha, got married on New Year’s Eve, 2010, in a wedding that became a one-hour television special, “Fast and Fabulous: A NASCAR Wedding,” on the Style Network.

But two years later, when they began trying to have a baby, their joy turned to frustration.

“One month went by and two months went by and three and four,” Samantha said.

The couple was referred to Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte, a doctors group specializing in fertility problems. Both Kyle and Samantha were tested, and she learned she had polycystic ovary syndrome, which can result in hormone imbalances that interfere with fertility.

Doctors recommended in vitro fertilization, the high-tech procedure that involves retrieving the woman’s eggs and mixing them with the man’s sperm in a laboratory dish. The resulting embryo is then transferred to the woman’s uterus. Some couples choose to transfer more than one embryo to improve their chances of having at least one baby. Extra embryos can be frozen for future use.

The Busches chose to implant one embryo, and she gave birth to their son, Brexton, on May 18. “Everything went perfect,” said Samantha, now 29. “We couldn’t have asked for a better experience.” Samantha’s blog about that time is at www.samanthabusch.com.

To express their gratitude and “give back” to the community, the couple started the “Kyle and Samantha Busch Bundle of Joy Fund” to provide financial help to other couples getting fertility treatments at REACH.

This month, the Kyle Busch Foundation announced the first five couples to receive grants totalling $47,000. Two of the couples are from Charlotte, the others from Kings Mountain, Lenoir and Union Grove. Grant amounts varied, depending on the procedures planned and the financial need.

Samantha and Kyle chose the winners after reading essays written by the husbands and wives. “We know firsthand the frustration and anxiety couples with infertility issues go through trying to start a family,” she said.

One of the couples, Jenny and Mike Gregory of Charlotte, said they applied for about $4,000 to cover the cost of an embryo transfer so they can have a second child. In their essays, they outlined years of trying to conceive naturally.

The Gregorys married in 2007, and Mike, now 33, had been in the Army National Guard. In 2009, he deployed to Kosovo, and shortly after got the call that Jenny, now 32, was pregnant. A few weeks later, though, she had a miscarriage. Eventually, they were referred to specialists who found they both had fertility problems.

In 2012, they tried IVF and had one of four embryos transferred at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Bethesda, Md. Jenny gave birth to their son, Grayson, after they moved to Charlotte. Their remaining three embryos were transferred to REACH. And that’s where they were, talking about the possibility of a second procedure, when Jenny spotted applications for the “Bundle of Joy Fund” next to the coffeepot.

They applied, explaining their wish to have two children close in age. Earlier this month, they said they were surprised and humbled to learn they were among the first recipients. They plan to have the embryo transfer later this month.

“The Busch family, they are amazing.” Jenny said. “We think the world of them.”

For information

Applications for the “Kyle and Samantha Busch Bundle of Joy Fund” are available at Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte, 1524 E. Morehead St., 704-343-3400. To be eligible, couples must be patients of REACH and residents of North Carolina.

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