Surrogacy: Our Last Hope To Complete Our Family

This is one of the most difficult things we've ever had to write, thank you for taking the time to read our journey so far.

We are desperately seeking your support to raise £10,000 to help us complete our family. All of this money will be used to pay for one final round of egg donation and IVF transfers with our surrogate at our fertility clinic in Manchester. My wife Kerry had cancer of the bladder when she was just 2 years old which left us infertile, surrogacy and donor eggs are the only way we can have a child.

We have never asked for financial support from anyone before and aren't entitled to NHS funding. We hate to share our problems in public but we have no other way to complete our family without your help and donations! 

Our miracle girl Olivia was born through egg donation and surrogacy in 2018 and she has bought so much joy to our hearts. As she grows into a toddler she yearns for a brother or sister to share life with; we are already so eternally grateful to have Olivia in our lives but a sibling would truly make our family complete.

Last month, our final remaining embryo transfer worked with our amazing friend and surrogate! We were all so overjoyed, we saw the heartbeat on our first ultrasound scan and began to make plans for the future. Days later our world came to an abrupt halt when our beautiful friend told us that she had a bleed which wasn't stopping. We rushed to be by her side and sadly Kerry held her hand as we miscarried. This really broke us all and it's been a lot to deal with. Our friendship with our surrogate and her family is so strong, we all want to have one last go to have a sibling journey for Olivia but that means self-funding more IVF treatment and more donor eggs.

We have scrimped, saved, gone without, borrowed money off family and worked as much overtime as we can to fund all our treatment ourselves up until this point.  We have remortgaged, taken out loans and credit cards and we wouldn't have it any other way; completing our family means everything to us.

We have been denied funding repeatedly by the Cheshire East CCG (who fund NHS treatment for IVF and egg donation) as surrogacy treatment is not supported by law in the UK. We have met with our MP Fiona Bruce and contributed to the Law Commissions review into modernizing surrogacy law in the UK.  We have done unpaid articles in magazines and have also featured on The One Show in 2018 all to raise awareness for surrogacy in this country.

We really are doing our best to find a solution to our infertility. We have never asked for help with anything until now. We have all found the courage to do one last cycle of egg donation and IVF but we need your help so much to fund it!

A little bit more about us:

My wife Kerry and I have been together for the last ten years, we are soul mates and always knew that we wanted a family together.  We are both key workers in our 30's based in Staffordshire. I work as an engineer with BT and Kerry works in Ultrasound in the NHS.  We are truly blessed to have the most beautiful, amazing, daughter Olivia who was born through Surrogacy after many years of heartbreak and infertility  due to Kerry's cancer of the bladder. We also have a crazy loving hungarian vizsla dog who has been with us throughout it all. 

Kerry had always been open and honest with me about her past but as we spent the years together i began to see the toll that rhabdomysarcoma had taken on her and the effects of the disease which she still has to live with to this day. Kerry was diagnosed with cancer as a toddler at  just 21 months of age. Thankfully chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery to remove most of her bladder saved her life. Life can be cruel in that you are too young to remember the disease but have to live with its affects each and every day. Kerry is still under the monitoring of several consultants who monitor various issues with her health as a result of her cancer and its treatment.

We were referred to Birmingham Women's Hospital in 2013 and 3 years of fertility drug trials and investigations led us to know that the radiotherapy which saved Kerry's life destroyed her ovaries and heavily scared her womb so we wouldn't be able to have children together. The consultant advised that our only options for completing our family would be adoption or surrogacy; that we would need an egg donor but that the funding for a cycle of IVF would be taken away from us because surrogacy treatment is not supported in the UK. 

We were heartbroken and felt so alone. This was now the June of 2016 and we had our wedding booked in the September. Kerry wanted to call off the wedding as she didn't want me to suffer infertility and the prospect of never having a family together; she wanted me to find love and family elsewhere so i wouldnt suffer from her condition. Kerry is a very selfless caring person, i adore the bones of her and this was never a consideration for me. We had the most wonderful wedding in the September and since then have been through a long journey of surrogacy and IVF transfers.

We managed to work hard and use all our savings, loans and credit cards to fund treatment at a private fertility clinic in Manchester as they were one of few clinics who had no waiting list for egg donation. We matched with a wonderful surrogate from Tewkesbury through the COTS organisation; someone we will be eternally grateful to. We went through the clinic's anonymous egg donation process and a beautiful soul donated 16 eggs which were fertilized with my sperm. The embryos developed until day 5 and we were so fortunate to have 4 blastocysts which were capable of pregnancy when transferred. 

Our first transfer failed and we were all heartbroken, its such a physically and mentally draining process on everyone. Our second transfer WORKED! Its hard to put into words the emotions we had when our darling girl was born in July 2018. We will always be so grateful to our surrogate for bringing Olivia into this world. We have had two beautiful years watching her grow in every way, she has removed so much of the pain from our hearts. All the memories of infertility and past treatments replaced which her first words and first achievements. We had another IVF transfer with our amazing friend in 2019 but sadly this failed. 

Coronavirus has been a nightmare for the country as a whole. We have both worked throughout this period whilst trying to juggle childcare between us with nurseries closed and not wanting to put our families at risk. Life still has to go on though and we spent a lot of the time through lockdown trying to match with another surrogate which we did! We met with an amazing family in Derbyshire and formed Team Fate! We all have such a great connection. When we talked through our families' journeys our meeting just felt like fate had led us together. 

As we said earlier on , the transfer of our final embryo worked and we got to 7 weeks in pregnancy before suffering a horrific bleed and miscarriage. We were all left heartbroken but it also pulled us all in closer together.

Whilst we still want to enjoy every second with Olivia we are totally focused on raising the funding to do one last cycle of egg donation and IVF so we can reach our dream of having a sibling for Olivia and completing our family.

Even if it is just a small donation, please help us we would be eternally grateful. 
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Mike Snape 
Scholar Green, North West England, United Kingdom