A COUPLE who met at secondary school in Melksham have appealed for help to start a family of their own.

Sarah and Kevin Hodges have launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise £8,500 after going through ten rounds of IVF without success.

So far, they have raised £3,160 of their £8,500 target with help from family and friends, after spending more than £84,000 on IVF treatments.

The couple, both 33, of Rosemary Way, Melksham, have reached a crossroads after seven years of trying and Sarah experiencing two miscarriages.

Mr Hodges, who works for Vodafone in Newbury, said: “Sarah and I both knew from the very beginning that we wanted to start a family. This is where our troubles began.”Like most young couples, we started trying to conceive, knowing that it might not happen straight away.

“After a year of not having any luck, we thought, just to err on the side of caution, I should have a sperm test to make sure I was functioning properly.

“Sarah also underwent blood tests and a number of quite intrusive tests to see if anything was wrong but everything came back normal.

“Yet we still didn’t have any luck and a number of negative pregnancy tests followed. To qualify for IVF on the NHS we had to wait until Sarah was 30 which was a long two years away.

“As soon as Sarah was 30 we registered with a pregnancy clinic to begin our IVF journey and we did so full of positivity and ambition – we had a plan which gave us something to aim for.

“Although the first attempt wasn’t successful our spirits weren’t dampened at all as we knew it doesn’t always happen straight away.”After our first unsuccessful attempt we were thrilled when a pregnancy test came back positive.

“Everything was looking great but unfortunately, once again, mother nature was against us. This trend continued, and our emotional rollercoaster reached new highs and lows.”

“Even with everything we’ve been through, I don’t believe in being fearless. To me such a thing doesn’t exist, but I do very much believe in courage and using courage to conquer fear.

“Sarah has courage in spades, more than anyone I have ever known before. Her ability to keep smiling and push forward despite staring bad news in the face is absolutely amazing and I count myself the luckiest person to call her my wife.

“After seven years of trying to conceive, we discovered that I have a slight semen DNA quality issue which makes conceiving even harder for us. It’s what’s known as the ‘male factor’. Given this new information, we’re at a crossroads.

We have more information and a better understanding of what is needed to help us conceive and create a family, but IVF is incredibly expensive and with our previous attempts, having one last go just isn’t financially possible at the moment, so we need help.

“To date Sarah and I have been through ten cycles of IVF, seven of which we have funded ourselves after three cycles on the NHS, trying different treatments each time based on the previous findings and results, unfortunately none of which have led to a pregnancy that has lasted full term.

“As you can guess, This has been hugely emotionally and financially difficult, but we’re not quite ready to give up hope yet.”

The couple are pinning their hopes on one final throw of the dice, needing £8,500 to pay for one more round of IVF, including medication, steroid and other supplements and time lapse analysis.

Mr Hodges added: “If you find it within you, please make our dream come true and help us create a family.”

To help the couple, go to www.gofundme.com/kh9bf-help-us-make-a-family