Published: 06:00, 29 July 2021
| Updated: 20:19, 29 July 2021
An engaged couple are asking their wedding guests to help fund their latest round of IVF rather than shower them with any gifts.
Joanna Kimble, 31, and her partner Ryan Treleaven, 30, from Gravesend, have been trying for a baby for more than eight years.
The couple speak here about why they are asking for IVF money instead of wedding gifts
The couple, who live in Singlewell Road, were devastated to learn in 2014 they were unable to conceive naturally after taking numerous tests.
Since then they have pursued three cycles of IVF on the NHS without success.
Last year Joanna and Ryan flew to Greece for private treatment where they spent more than £7,000 of their hard-earned savings. But this again didn't work.
They are due to marry on August 20 at Danson House in Bexleyheath.
Just a handful of the couple's family and friends will be present for the low key ceremony at their behest.
But rather than asking guests for a collection of kitchenware or honeymoon presents they are instead encouraging them to donate towards expensive fertility treatment, costing around £11,500 in total.
"As a wedding gift we are hoping for donations towards something very dear to our hearts," said Joanna.
"There is nothing we want more than a family. It means a lot more than gifts."
The eye laser technician says the long process has taken its toll on both her and partner Ryan, a store manager at supermarket chain Iceland.
She said: "We have tried four times over a few years. It takes a lot out of you, it is quite an emotional process.
"Every time we have been told it is going to work and it has not."
Despite their disappointment so far, the couple remain hopeful and believe new treatments suggested to them could provide the key.
Many IVF cycles result in disappointment as the embryos fail to implant or the pregnancy ends in miscarriage.
But the couple have been advised the genetic testing of embryos may increase their chances of a successful pregnancy.
It involves checking embryos created by IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) for abnormalities in the number of chromosomes.
The treatment add-on is not currently available on the NHS and costs around £3,500 a turn which is charged in addition to the IVF plan itself.
"With the NHS it is a base treatment as they don't offer anything extra," explains Joanna, who has set up a fundraising page.
"With four failed cycles so far we have been in contact with a new clinic which has given us more guidance, we just don’t have the finances to do it ourselves.
"Any donation will be greatly appreciated and help us on our journey to hopefully one day become parents."
To donate to the couple's wedding IVF fundraiser click here.