Two British mums, whose lives were transformed when IVF treatment helped them have children, have set up a global circle of help that will enable a dozen more people to have free IVF treatment.
Tracey Bambrough and Sara Marshall-Page will announce the recipients of their latest IVF Babble initiative at the Fertility Show Africa in Johannesburg in March.
Tracey and Sara set up IVF Babble, an online portal where those going through fertility treatment can seek support, advice and information just under three years ago.
In 2018 they had the idea of persuading IVF clinics around the world to give away free treatments as part of the celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of IVF being invented when Louise Brown was born in 1978. Louise Brown selected the recipients at random.
That initiative was so successful that the women decided to repeat the giveaway and this year people seeking treatment have until January 31 to register their interest to be in with a chance of one of the free treatments.
So far four babies have been born and five more are on the way as a result of the previous giveaway. There will be 12 more giveaways announced in Johannesburg and a link to a Spanish clinic has already been announced.
Tracey Bambrough said: “Cost is still one of the main barriers for many people needing fertility treatment. In the UK NHS treatment is a postcode lottery and in many other parts of the world it simply depends on whether you can afford private treatment, have an insurance policy that will cover costs or are lucky enough to live in the right place.
“Sara and I hear every day from those going through their fertility journey about all the barriers they face. By organising this giveaway we are providing practical help for a small number of people, hope for others and highlighting the problem worldwide.
“It started as a UK initiative but now we have clinics all over the world getting in touch asking how they can join in. We also have people from all over the world coming forward in the hope of receiving one of the treatments.
The free IVF cycles have been donated by Bourn Hall, Lister Fertility Clinic and Belfast Fertility in the UK, Vios Fertility in the USA, Bloom Fertility in India, IVF Turkey, IVF Spain, Nadezhda Fertility Clinic in Bulgaria and Hart Fertility Clinic in South Africa. Some of the clinics have donated more than one cycle.
Tracey has twin girls born by IVF, created the online portal with her friend Sara Marshall-Page from London who also experienced fertility issues and finally became a mum in 2010 after several rounds of specialist treatment.
IVF Babble is the go-to source of information, support and advice for anyone struggling with fertility or undergoing treatment and has gained over 3m readership and an army of celebrity advocates including Fearne Cotton and singer Sophie Ellis Bextor since its launch in 2016.
To find out more or to enter visit https://www.ivfbabble.com/global-free-ivf/