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Ultrasound machine donated to First Choice Pregnancy Center

In the midst of saving for a much-needed piece of equipment, a local pregnancy center received a surprise gift that the executive director of the facility said came from above.

Nancy Erwin, executive director of First Choice Pregnancy Center, located at 1601 E. Basin Ave., Suite 303, was raising funds for an ultrasound machine for their nonprofit, Christian clinic when a facility over the hump stepped in.

“This one was donated from the Women’s Resource Medical Center in Las Vegas,” Erwin said. “We started a fundraiser in March at Saddle West with a dinner, because we wanted to raise $10,000 because the smallest one we saw online was that price.”

The donation came about after networking with a previous volunteer at First Choice who now worked out of Las Vegas at Red Rock OB who knew of the center’s need and passed it along to the right people at the Women’s Resource Center.

“We were so excited when we heard about it,” Erwin said.

First Choice, who’s been in business for almost 20 years in town, was about halfway to their goal of $10,000 before the donation of the ultrasound machine and now the money raised will go toward operating the center’s new machine.

“We started a fundraiser in March with a dinner and we got up to a little over $4,800 and we got a call asking if we would like to have an ultrasound machine,” Erwin said. “Now the money will go toward materials and supplies we need for the machine. Plus, if we need to service (the machine) we already have that money in there.

“It was a gift from God. I am a firm believer that God always comes through.”

The money will also go toward knocking a wall down in the room that houses the ultrasound machine, which will provide direct access to a sink that Erwin said would be beneficial during appointments.

With the center seeing a lot of teenage and early 20-year-old clients, many of which have an unplanned pregnancy, the center knew the importance of bringing in an ultrasound machine to the center to help their decision about what to do with the baby.

“The machine will give the client an opportunity to see their fully-developed baby in utero and they’ll get to see that it’s not a clump of cells, as some places will tell them,” said Beth Sorrell, a registered diagnostic medical sonographer. “They’ll get to hear the baby’s heartbeat and they’ll get an estimate of how big the baby is and far along they are.”

Erwin explained that if someone is unsure if they want to keep the baby or not, that the center will affirm life or suggest the client have the baby and put it up for adoption.

Before the addition of the ultrasound machine, First Pregnancy clients had to be referred to Dr. Richter’s office for a free ultrasound appointment, which take place once a week on Thursdays.

The only day First Choice offers its free ultrasound appointments is Wednesdays, where Sorrell volunteers her time at the clinic. If client volume rises enough, the center is prepared to offer additional days that ultrasounds are available at the clinic.

First Choice Pregnancy Center is hosting a dessert auction on Saturday, beginning at 5:30 p.m., at Joshelle’s Teriyaki House, located at 1330 S. Highway 160.

All are encouraged to submit their own dessert, as prizes will be given out for first, second and third place for best presentation.

First Choice Pregnancy Center is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and can be reached at 775-751-2229 or online at their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/First-Choice-Pregnancy-Center-122389624575601/?fref=nf.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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