A WORCESTER man’s four-year struggle to become a father will be at the forefront of his mind when he hits the streets of the capital for this weekend’s London Marathon.
Craig McAllister will tackle the 26.2 mile route on Sunday (October 3) as the landmark event returns for the first time since the pandemic began.
While all those running will have their own inspirations, Craig’s fight to become a father together with his wife Kat will spur him on to raise cash for the charity Fertility Network.
The 30-year-old and his wife, 28, tried for four years to become pregnant and start a family despite Kat suffering with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a condition which affects a woman’s ability to conceive.
After the first attempt at IVF failed, the second bid resulted in Kat suffering from ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and resulted in the couple taking time to prepare for a third round.
Their dreams appear to have been realised after a third round when Kat fell pregnant but heartbreakingly the couple discovered the previous attempt had resulted in an ectopic pregnancy meaning their dreams were dashed again.
“We were absolutely devastated,” said Craig. “One minute so hopeful and the next so desolate.”
The couple rallied and tried one last time, having two embryos transferred and in September 2018 discovered the double joy they were expecting twins.
“We were in complete disbelief that finally, after such a difficult and traumatic journey, we could now look forward,” he said.
Years of heartbreak came to an end on April 7 when twins Mikaela and Lillie came into the world, a moment which ‘transformed’ the couple’s lives according to the devoted dad.
Do you know the top 5 fertility myths?
1. Myth Don’t worry about female fertility until after 35
Reality: female fertility is falling from age 28 or earlier
2. Myth: IVF is for women who have left it too late
Reality: most women having IVF started trying for a baby in their early 30s or sooner
3. Myth: IVF will work for me
Reality: IVF fails 75 per cent of the time.
4. Myth: Fertility issues are a female problem
Reality: male fertility problems are as common as female ones
5. Myth: If you need medical help to conceive, NHS services are available
Reality: 6 out of 10 people with fertility problems pay for their own treatment
Craig now wants to give back to the UK’s leading patient fertility charity as a thank you for all the support he and Kat received.
“Fertility Network UK are an amazing charity and with their support I have been lucky enough to secure a place in the London Marathon in 2021,” he said.
“This will enable me to raise awareness of infertility and funds to support the work the charity does to help more people on their fertility journey. I hope you will follow and support me on this too.”
Fertility Network chief executive Gwenda Burns said: “One in six couples experience the heartbreak of infertility. That’s someone on every street in the UK.
“But far too many people struggle alone without help. Fertility Network is the leading patient-focused fertility charity and we are here to provide advice and support for every individual facing fertility problems, whatever stage of their fertility journey.
“We rely on donations to continue our work, please do donate to Craig’s fund-raiser and help us continue our work,” she added.
Visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CraigMcAllister3 to donate.