A day in the life of Helen de Pinto

H - blog

Helen de Pinto

Helen de Pinto works non-stop to ensure that Nurture’s donors are taken care of – from the donor’s application to the initial interview and posting on the Nurture website. This mom of three daughters has been with Nurture since it started. Find out what her day looks like, what gets her going in the morning, and what her one piece of advice for a new donor is. 

 

What is your role at Nurture?

I follow up from when a donor moves to Pending Interview through to being made active on system.  I interview donors. I look after travelling donors from booking appointments, travel, and accommodation to arranging travel allowance and looking after them while in the host city.  I email back on-board donors and move them to Active or Past. Do all clinic and recipient PDFs and keep their folders up to date. Email donors with any questions for the recipient team. Do Monthly Stats on Donors.  Follow up with team and move donors that have had their retrievals. I would say I do a little bit of everything.

 

What does a typical day at Nurture look like for you?

Going through all emails, chatting to travelling donors on WhatsApp, organising any flights needed for initials or retrievals. I may do an interview. Follow up with any queries / emails sent to donors. Checking and following up on any retrievals done for the day, moving them. General donor admin, going through all my matches, making sure all is on track. Different things come up all the time – my days are never the same.

 

What was your day job before Nurture? 

I worked as a PA to the Managing Director at a Corporate Firm and did Marketing as well.

 

What is your favourite thing about working at Nurture?

To be honest, I cannot just name one favourite thing, it is a combination of things that I love about working at Nurture.

 

What has the highlight of your Nurture career been?

I have been with Nurture since it started and the highlight of my Nurture career has been watching how we have grown and evolved into what Nurture is today. It has been a great journey, with lots of learning, changes and challenges but we always come out on top. We have a great team of women and we get it done the right way.

 

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question – what would you ask?

Will my girls be content, happy and successful in their lives?

 

What is in your ultimate picnic basket?

Grapes / Cherries / Blueberries / Strawberries, Lindt Dark Chocolate, Mixed roasted Nuts

Camembert Cheese / Brie Cheese with crackers & figs and Woolworths Nachos and Spicy Guacamole Dip

 

 What’s your superpower?

I care, I am reliable, available, loyal and will make sure I get things done.

 

What gets you going in the morning? 

My family, a good cup of coffee and my work

 

You’re a mom to three girls. What is your greatest wish for them?

My greatest wish for my three girls is for them to be happy, love themselves, to believe in themselves, be strong, independent women, know that everything and anything is possible with commitment, studying and hard work no matter how many times they fall, which I know they will, they can get up and do it again and will succeed. I will always be there to pick them up and dust them off no matter what.  I love listening to them, watching them take on challenges and see some of the values I try teaching them already coming through in their characters

 

What are you doing when you’re not at work?

Generally, I am with my husband and daughters. If my husband is busy around house or watching sports, then the girls and I go out together. The older girls drive so we go on little outings and have some girl fun. The girls often have friends around as well, so the house is always busy. I must admit we are a homely type of family. I sneak in a little bit of Nurture emails while everyone is still sleeping in the morning, I just cannot resist.

 

What is the one piece of advice that you have for a new egg donor? 

You need to be committed and you need to make sure you have the support you need before coming on board. It is important to have a parent/partner/best friend that will support you throughout the egg donor journey.

 

What is the most common question that a new donor has?

Will donating eggs effect my future fertility?

 

Describe the average Nurture egg donor in five words.

Special, committed, compassionate, giving and caring.

 

What is the one misconception about egg donation that you would wave a wand to clear up? 
A donor is giving away their child.
You can email Helen on Helen@nurture.co.za

A glass of Chardonnay with Tertia

tertia

Tertia Albertyn

The other half of Nurture’s dynamic duo, Tertia Albertyn co-founded Nurture with her BFF Melany Bartok in 2008.

A recovering infertile (who gave birth to now-teenage twins after her ninth IVF, and had one ‘freebie’ baby), Tertia has poured her heart and soul into this business.

Lover of Chardonnay, fruit chutney chips and Pokemon Go!, we get to know the fabulous Tertia and the “no-brainer” that was founding Nurture… 

 

Describe in 10 words or less what you do at Nurture. 

Look for new opportunities to grow the business

What does a typical day at Nurture look like for you?

Open my laptop and try to get on top of my emails.  Which is a pretty daunting task.  The emails never stop!  And by the time they arrive in my inbox, it usually means it’s a tricky or difficult situation. Sorting out problem cases or tricky situations is the least favourite part of my job, but it needs to be done. Things can’t be all sunshine and roses all the time.  I love numbers and figures and spreadsheets so as a reward for doing the difficult stuff, I spend some time invoicing and recording information in spreadsheets. I often have meetings, which is another not-so-fun part of my job.  Not only because the travel time and the meeting time takes up so much of my valuable working day, but I am a bit (VERY!) antisocial so having to look up from my computer and actually speak to someone face to face is always a bit daunting for me.

What has been the highlight of your Nurture career?

There are so many!!  I always say that I have the best job in the world.  We get to help others have their ‘happily ever after’.  Every single baby born through our program is a highlight for me.  Whenever I am feeling particularly stressed, I go to our photo album and look at all the gorgeous baby pics sent from our happy recipients.  Makes my day each time.  Another thing I absolutely love is following the day to day lives of our recipients who I have become friends with on Facebook.  I look at the shiny faces on the first day of school and the parents’ proud faces and my heart wants to burst with happiness.  Having suffered from infertility myself I know what it is like to want to have a child and not be able to. When I read the seemingly ordinary day to day lives of our recipients, I know just how grateful they are to have all those usual ‘firsts’ and big moments as parents, moments they thought might never happen.

What was your day job before Nurture? 

I worked for IBM as Communications Manager for one of their divisions.

How did you and Melany come to the idea of starting Nurture together? 

Melany and I have been friends for over 20 years. In fact, I’ve known Melany longer than I have known my husband who I have been married to for 18 years!  As I mentioned before, I suffered from infertility for many years.  During this time Melany could see how much pain I was in, which obviously made her really heart sore too.  She asked what she could do to help me.  At the time my problem wasn’t my eggs, so she couldn’t help me, but I told her she could become an egg donor and help other people. Which she did.  A few years later Melany worked for an international egg donor program.  One day Melany and I were chatting and we realized that there was a need for a local egg donor agency who could provide excellent service and good quality egg donors to the local and the international market.  Melany and I had worked together in the past, we shared the same passion and enthusiasm for life.  Plus, Melany had personal experience as an egg donor and I had personal experience as an infertility patient.  It was a no brainer.  That was over 10 years ago and we have taken our ‘baby’ Nurture to great heights locally and internationally.  We are very proud of our team.

Nurture recently celebrated its tenth anniversary – how different is the fertility landscape now from when you first started in the industry?

Some things are quite different, and others remain the same.  Infertility still affects so many people.  And there is as much of a need for donor eggs as there was back then.  However, some things have changed.  The technology has improved in leaps and bounds.  The most exciting innovation has been around egg freezing.  Sperm banks have been around for ages, but in the past egg banks weren’t an option. That has changed in the past few years and now Nurture has partnered with the country’s leading fertility clinic to offer frozen donor eggs to our recipients.  Very exciting stuff!

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question – what would you ask?

Wow, that’s tough.  I would want to know things like: Why do babies die?  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Why haven’t we found a cure for cancer? But if I had to pick one, it would have to be:  How does one survive the teenage years and stay sane?!  (I have twin teenagers, and it is a pretty scary ride!)

What is in your picnic basket?

Chardonnay.  More Chardonnay.  Fruit chutney chips.  Dip.  Those yummy crackers made with lots of butter and sun-dried tomato from Woollies.  Some stinky cheese.

What’s your superpower?

Doing a million things at once:  Running a business, raising a family, surviving the teenage years, supporting my parents, serving on the PTA.  All at once.

What gets you going in the morning?

Coffee!  Plus getting 3 kids up and ready for school.

What are you doing when you’re not at work?

Playing Pokemon Go!  My husband and I are big Pokemon addicts, and we spend most of our weekends meeting up with our Pokemon friends and playing the game together.  It’s very social.

What is the one piece of advice that you have for a new egg donor? 

Don’t be shy to boast about yourself on your profile.  Donors with detailed, interesting profiles get chosen quicker.  Recipients love to read everything you’ve written.

Describe the average Nurture egg donor in five words. 

Amazing, strong, committed, giving, caring.

You and the team have scanned through hundreds of applications – what are the first things you look for in a potential donor?

By now we know which donors get chosen quicker.  Donors with detailed profiles where they share a lot of info about themselves – their interests, hobbies, achievements, likes/dislikes etc.  Recipients love that.  Then, donors with a tertiary qualification are in high demand.  Lastly donors with cute childhood pics definitely get chosen quicker.  In the absence of meeting the donor face to face (because egg donation in South Africa has to be anonymous), all the recipients have to go on when they make their choice is what the donor has written about herself, what she has achieved academically or in her career and lastly, how she looked as a young child.

What is the one misconception about egg donation that you would wave a wand to clear up?

That donating your eggs uses up your own store of eggs, making it harder to have a baby one day.  We are born with all the eggs we will ever have, and every month these eggs go to waste.  Egg donation is using the eggs that would have gone to waste anyway.  Instead of wasting them, you could be blessing future parents with the baby they long for.

What do you think the future holds for Nurture? 

Lots of exciting things!  Growing the frozen egg bank, and expanding internationally.  Helping even more people have babies!

 

A day in the life of Lee-Ann Owtram

Lee-Ann Owtram

Lee-Ann Owtram

After almost two decades in the corporate world,

Lee-Ann Owtram found her way to Nurture after being asked to “help out” on a project. That was seven years ago! We caught up with her to get to know the superwoman behind the cape.

What do you do at Nurture?

I look after the operations and systems for Nurture and Nurture UK.

What does a typical day at Nurture look like for you?

Making sure our system remains operational providing both the Nurture admin team and our clients with an effective and efficient service.  Managing Nurture UK with a wonderful team – two South African born gems (Kirsty and Gabby) who reside in the UK.

What is family to you?

Everything and more.

What has been the highlight of your Nurture career?

Building the Nurture UK brand, which has been challenging but so exciting. (And seeing George Michael live in 2012 during a business trip!)

What was your day job before Nurture?

I was the Fund Manager for the Wooltru Healthcare Fund at MHG (Metropolitan Health Group).

How did you move from a corporate background to get involved with Nurture?

After 18 years of working in a corporate environment, I felt I needed to spread my wings a little. I took on a business venture that sadly did not fulfil me, and two years later was asked by Nurture to “help out” during their transition from a manual process to a system-driven one. Seven years later, here I am. Happier than ever.

What do you think the future holds for Nurture?

We have the most determined and driven team. We will continue on our journey to help amazing people to reach their ultimate dream of becoming parents.

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question – what would you ask?

Is there really life after death?

What is in your ultimate picnic basket?

A bottle of Jose Cuervo tequila, two shot glasses, some cherries, salt, and fresh slices of lemon.  Preserved figs (with the thick syrup), cheese and a good home-baked bread.  Strawberries and pineapple. And a blanket for later. (Author’s note: We want in on this picnic basket!)

What’s your superpower?

In my work environment: My attention to detail.

In my personal life: Patience.

What is the one piece of advice that you have for a new egg donor?

If you knew how much you are appreciated and respected, you would do this again and again and again.  It will change your life forever.

Describe the average Nurture egg donor in five words. 

Committed. Hopeful. Selfless. Dedicated. Kind.

What gets you going in the morning?

My 16-year-old daughter who insists that I get up with her in the morning to “bond” before she goes to school.

What is your proudest achievement?

Raising my son and daughter to be strong but caring and kind souls.

What are you doing when you’re not at work?

I spend time with the people I love – my children, my family, my partner, my friends and my two much-loved dogs, Milo and Seth.

You can contact Lee at lee@nurture.co.za.

A day in the life of Tanya Rubin

Tanya Rubin

Tanya Rubin is a qualified counsellor, registered social worker and logotherapist,

and most importantly, one of Nurture’s fab donor liaisons!

This mom of two is also a former infertility patient, with one IVF baby and one “free gift”. Besides her Nurture work, Tanya continues to counsel those struggling with infertility. Talk about a superwoman!

We sat down with Tanya to find out what makes her tick.

 

Describe in 15 words or less what you do at Nurture. 

Looking after matched donors, making sure that the match runs smoothly and efficiently.

 

What does a typical day at Nurture look like for you?

Checking emails every two minutes, chatting to donors all day via email or WhatsApp, interviewing and meeting donors, keeping in constant contact with the co-ordinators and nurses at the fertility clinics to make sure all is on track with the current matches and that donors know what the next steps are, and chatting to the Nurture recipient support team almost daily.

 

What has been the highlight of your Nurture career?

Every positive result we get is like a mini-highlight on a daily basis. I am privileged enough to see both sides in that I get to screen donors and counsel recipients – it is amazing how close the match is even though egg donation is anonymous! Those are my highlights, every day.

 

What is the one piece of advice that you have for a brand-new egg donor?

This experience is going to change your perspective on life and will be forever lasting

 

Describe the average Nurture egg donor in five words.

Dedicated, compassionate, committed, awesome and selfless.

 

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question – what would you ask? 

Why do good people have to suffer through so much pain and loss?

 

Open up your handbag / laptop bag – what are the first five things in there? 

Chewing gum. Lip gloss. My purse. My phone. Tissues.

 

What’s your superpower? 

My gut instinct. It’s never wrong!

 

Your Nurture profile talks about your qualification as a logotherapist. Can you briefly define it, and explain how you bring it into your counselling practice?

Logotherapy is based on Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning. The basic premise is to help people find meaning through suffering. For me, being a counsellor who focuses primarily on grief, loss and infertility, it is vital to help patients find some type of meaning and connection in their life when they are going through so much pain and suffering.

 

A quick Google search mentions that you previously specialised in the field of addiction. How did you move into infertility counselling?

Having been a fertility patient myself, I knew that my experience as a patient had to mean something and so I decided to stay in the fertility world and have never left. It became a part of my soul and I have dedicated every aspect of my world to helping patients – hopefully by making their lives a little more manageable while the world of infertility consumes them.

 

What is family to you?

Family is everything to me! The most important elements in my life, my whole entire world!

 

What gets you going in the morning? 

Coffee and my gym classes

 

What is your proudest achievement? 

My two perfect, beautiful children! I cannot believe they are mine

 

Your profile mentions that you’re still practicing privately as well as working with Nurture. What are you doing when you’re not at work? 

My children keep me busy rushing around all day, but when I have time out, reading, drinking wine with family and friends and going to gym would be my escape from work

 

What is the biggest misconception about egg donation that you would wave a wand to clear up? 

That egg donors donate only for money, that egg donation is dangerous and that donors will lose all their eggs and never be able to have children after.

You can contact Tanya at Tanya@nurture.co.za or call her on 0826001989

 

A glass of bubbles with Melany Bartok

Melany Bartok

One half of the dynamic duo, Melany Bartok co-founded Nurture with Tertia Albertyn in 2008.

Nurture’s general manager and a former donor herself, Mel is fiercely protective of her donors and will take on people several times her sizes to protect their interests!

Get to know the fabulous Mel below – from her superpower to her ideal picnic basket, and the question she would most like answered in the world.

 

What’s your official title at Nurture?

General Manager

Describe in 10 words or less what you do at Nurture.

Overseeing that Nurture runs efficiently and delivers outstanding service.

What does a typical day at Nurture look like for you?

Responding to emails and phone calls from donors, clinic staff, and the team.  Meeting and interviewing donors.  Planning ahead, strategising and coordinating between our team, donors, recipients and clinics.

What is family to you?

Quality time with people who can laugh, listen, advise and know whether I need a coffee or a glass of bubbles!

What has been the highlight of your Nurture career?

Reaching our 10th birthday!

What was your day job before Nurture?

Operational Avis employee.

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question – what would you ask?

Why do children die?

What is in your picnic basket?

Champagne and more champagne! (Sounds like the perfect picnic basket to us!)

What’s your superpower?

I am a woman – say no more!

What is the one piece of advice that you have for a new egg donor? 

This could be a life-changing experience for you.

Describe the average Nurture egg donor in five words. 

Responsible, informed, communicative, honourable, unselfish.

What gets you going in the morning?

My five huskies howling for breakfast!

What is your proudest achievement?

My two-legged daughter who is strong willed, independent and determined.

What are you doing when you’re not at work?

Saving huskies! Bonding with friends. Yoga’ing!

What do you think the future holds for Nurture?

With our planning and goals – MANY more babies around the globe.