Astros' Joe Smith and wife Allie LaForce open up about pregnancy journey

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston Astros relief pitcher Joe Smith and his wife, sideline sports reporter Allie LaForce, have been the team's leading voices to cure a debilitating condition that is described like a mixture of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and dementia.

Smith's mother was diagnosed in 2012 with Huntington's disease, a condition that impacts about 30,000 people in the country.

"It's a neurological disease. It is hereditary. You have a 50/50 chance of getting it, so you may or you may not....pass it down to your children," Smith told ABC13 last year.



SEE MORE: After mom diagnosed, Astros' Joe Smith faces 50/50 future with Huntington's disease

Due to the fact that the disease can be inherited, the couple was faced with a challenge when it came to having a child.

Through their HelpCureHD website, which is the home base of their nonprofit organization to raise awareness, LaForce has blogged their twists and turns through PGD-IVF, or in-vitro fertilization with preimplantation genetic diagnosis. The procedure involves removing a cell from an IVF embryo, testing it for a specific genetic condition, and then transferring the embryo to the uterus.

Their hope is to conceive an embryo that would be free of Huntington's disease.

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LaForce's blog, which so far encompasses three entries over the last few years, expresses the emotion and vulnerability of the complex process, as well as the work-life balance that both have faced in going forward in their journey.

In one entry, LaForce described the run-around the couple experienced to go from a doctor's visit, to Smith's spring training in Florida, to going back home.
The underlying purpose, though, of the journey, according to LaForce, is experiencing the process with other couples who may be going through the same thing. She says it's not a cheap process, which involves multiple shots and office visits. For example, she said one visit to the fertility clinic cost them $8,000.

In that situation, she acknowledges that they can afford to pay that price, but other couples can't. Their HelpCureHD organization raises money for PGD-IVF procedures.

In the latest entry, LaForce described the growing love they have for each other, even through negative outcomes of their procedures.

"We grew closer than we have EVER been. We felt a love for each other that was so much deeper than the love we had before. I felt like I gave him my whole soul, and he gave me his. And for the first time in our relationship, I felt like we were finally connected enough to give our whole selves to someone else now...a baby," she wrote.

You can pore through the couple's journey here. You can also donate to HelpCureHD here.
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