CAPE CORAL, Fla. (CBSMiami) – You may have heard of radio stations giving away cash or concert tickets – but what about a baby? A radio DJ in Cape Coral has made it his mission to help couples struggling with infertility.
Jason “Big Mama” Jones started the “Win a Baby” contest, where couples get the chance to win a free round of in vitro fertilization. Now, the first winners of that contest are celebrating the birth of their baby boy.
Krista and Anthony Rivera adore their newborn son, Garrett. But these doting parents would’ve never guessed their son would be the product of a radio contest they entered back in 2017.
“It’s crazy, I never ever thought that we would, you know, ‘win a baby’ as they say,” Krista said.
The Riveras entered the radio contest that would lead to their newborn son back in 2017.
“I just kind of put our story together,” Krista Rivera explained. “Told them how we met and how much we loved each other and how much we wanted a family and why we had to put those plans on hold.”
The middle school teacher and the youth baseball coach had already been thinking about starting a family when they received some unexpected news.
“Two to three months into the process is when we ended up finding out that I had testicular cancer,” Anthony Rivera said.
After undergoing chemotherapy, Anthony Rivera was diagnosed with cancer a second time. That’s when doctors told the Riveras, they would not be able to have children. As a result, the couple decided to freeze a sample of Anthony Rivera’s sperm.
“It was hard enough having to see my husband go through that and worry about the future with him,” Krista Rivera said. “And then to know that we probably couldn’t have children was just heart wrenching.”
That’s where radio host Jones stepped in.
“I always say I come in every morning to make miracles happen and to make dreams come true. And that’s what I feel like I did with this one,” he said.
Jones started the contest after he and his wife went through their own struggles with infertility and shared their story on social media.
“Every shot that she took, every blood test, every doctor’s appointment, we shared it all,” Jones said.
About 1 in 8 couples in this country have trouble getting or sustaining a pregnancy, and the cost of treatment can be a problem.
In the United States, IVF can cost an average of $23,000 per cycle. In most cases, treatment is not covered by insurance.
“You realize that if one in eight people struggle, there are an enormous amount of people listening to me that are struggling with infertility that are probably going through the same process,” Jones said.
The Riveras said they’re grateful for the amount of people who’ve been cheering them on along the way.
“It’s nice to know that there’s a beautiful support group out there and they helped us get through it and that’s how we put one foot in front of the other,” Anthony Rivera said.
“What a picture perfect couple that won this thing,” Jones said. “I mean, you’re talking about somebody that dedicated their life to kids and don’t have any of their own… It’s the most rewarding moment I’ve ever had in my entire life. Not just in my career.”
Anthony Rivera is now in remission and will be two years cancer-free in January.
The radio station plans on continuing the contest on a yearly basis.
This year’s “Win a Baby” contest winners are undergoing IVF right now and hope to start their family soon.