Meet Jamel and LaWanda Urban Farmers from Ohio
Last year, after having surgery and LaWanda’s friend Melissa introduced her to a Podcast where she found out about the From INCIID the Heart IVF Scholarship Program.
Jamel and LaWanda are a blended family. Jamel has two daughters from a previous marriage. They opened their home to children and family services to become foster parents and as a result, were blessed with have a toddler who became part of this dynamic and caring couple.
Jamel is a welder by trade but an urban farmer by choice. He invested his time, life, blood, sweat and tears into urban agriculture to raise his family with wellness and health as a priority. Jamel spends his time naturally growing, nurturing and creating life with different varieties of fruits and vegetables year-round by erecting high hoop houses.
LaWanda often refers to him as “the hardest working Man in Cleveland.” Farming is strenuous with long hours. “Urban farming” brings new challenges but untold rewards. Jamel and LaWanda always on the go with their family while providing fresh fruits and vegetables year-round to their community.
A gentle soul who is not only pursuing his dreams of growing, educating and providing fresh produce but also an asset to the people in their community that otherwise would not have the opportunity for this healthy lifestyle and access to fresh foods.
Jamel works part-time at a hardware store but always makes time for family. Urban farming gives Jamel and LaWanda the opportunity to network and enrich the lives of everyone from the seniors to children and babies. Jamel also works with Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services through his Seed to Stomach program. This program educates the youths that are aging out of the foster care system how to grow a different variety of fruits and vegetables and the health benefits of eating locally grown produce.
Like many patients, LaWanda suffered from PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) when she was younger. PID can be very quiet. Unbeknownst to her, the fallopian tubes were damaged beyond repair. She found out as many women do after a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy. Emergency surgery was performed removing her tubes. Doctors told LaWanda and Jamel t that IVF was probably the only chance to conceive. Like all scholarship recipients and most of the rest of those suffering from infertility, IVF is not covered by their insurance and is very expensive.
LaWanda’s experience after her surgery was in the hospital was not a nurturing one. Their sadness was met with neutral cold dismissals instead of nurturing and support.
Jamel and LaWanda took their pain and decided to give back by opening their home and their love to fostering children who needed to be nurtured and loved. In 2013 they became licensed foster parents. classes to become licensed in 2013 and have had a LaWanda describes the many traumatized children that have come into their lives as a true blessing.
INCIID would like to provide Jamel and LaWanda the opportunity through the scholarship program to conceive through IVF. They are committed to helping INCIID raise $4000 to help INCIID continue to offer programs, information, and services to other couples just like them.