Web Exclusive: Houston couple trading football card for in vitro

(CNN/KTRK) - A Houston couple is about to go for a hail Mary.  They are planning to sell an old and valuable football card in hopes of using the money to have a child.  Now they're getting a hand from one of the football stars on that card.

The one-of-a-kind football card is Todd and Ula Nelkins answer to a problem they share with 6.7 million other couples, infertility.  "This is the only one out of the hundred made that has been graded a perfect ten" says Todd Nelkin. 

The Nelkins are putting the card up for auction on eBay later this month.  It has Walter Payton on one side and Barry Sanders on the other.  Both sides are autographed.  Todd Nelkin has owned it for years, a prized possession.  But, after racking up a debt in their quest for a child, they hope the card will help pay for a third and most likely final round of in vitro fertilization.

"We just want a little person," says Ula Nelkin. But, football great Barry Sanders reached out to the Nelkins via twitter and facebook.  "It's pretty surreal, I mean, you know? I mean, you see these people on TV," says Todd Nelkin. 

Sanders emailed this: "I heard about the story and its a heartbreaking situation that is made even more difficult when one is forced to let go of something valuable.  I want the Nelkins to know that I am supportive in helping spread the word about their cause and since this one-of-a-kind item cannot be replaced, I wanted to send them another signed card to have in its place," says Barry Sanders. 

Building a family hasn't been easy.  42-year-old Ula Nelkin has already been through two cycles of IVF.  "Nothing, there was no result," says Ula. IVF is successful 6-to-10% of the time in women over 40.

But the Nelkins hope this time star power will help them have the family they've always wanted.  "If football is the way that gets us there and besides, I have no problem naming a son Barry," Todd Nelkin. 

The couple will auction off the football card on eBay at the end of this month.


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