A WOMAN who has suffered an infertility nightmare for the last 15 years is hoping to raise £15,000 to give her the child she has always dreamed of.
Jo Hilton has launched her campaign Spend A Penny in the hope that one-and-a-half million people will each donate a penny so she can have a baby through surrogacy.
Mrs Hilton, aged 34, and husband James, 36, feel surrogacy is their last hope of having a child after applications for fostering and adoption were unsuccessful.
Since they launched their initial fundraising appeal last October, they have raised nearly £2,000 through online donations, sales and raffles, and are hoping this new appeal will help boost their efforts.
Mrs Hilton, of Goose Lane, Lower Quinton, near Shipston, has suffered six miscarriages and two ectopic pregnancies – the first when she was 19 – along with a hysterectomy in 2010.
She said that having a child of their own would mean the world to the couple.
“All we have ever wanted is to be a mum and dad,” she said.
“To have the chance of possibly getting a baby at the end of this. We know it may not work but you have to try.
If you don’t try you don’t get.
“Just to be able to have that child and to walk into the nursery at night and to see that baby sleeping. People say there’s no other feeling like that in the world. We would both like to experience that feeling if possible.”
The couple decided to go through Surrogacy UK last September after Mrs Hilton was inspired by American reality TV programme Giuliana and Bill, a show about a couple who had a child through surrogacy.
But just getting to this point has not been an easy ride for the couple, who met by chance on a dating website in 2005 before getting marriedin July 2007.
Mrs Hilton was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body, in 2006.
She later found she had arthritis while her husband was diagnosed with bipolar two years ago, and also suffers from back problems.
But despite this, the couple are not letting it get them down and have been overwhelmed with the support they have received for their campaign so far.
“The generosity of people has just been amazing,” Mrs Hilton said.
“We worked really hard up until we both had to stop working. This is so unfortunate now we have to ask for money.
"It doesn’t sit great with us. We’re advocates of surrogacy and we’re trying to garner attention and get more of the public to see it.”
Throughout September, Butterfly Wings Beauty, in Evesham, will be offering half price deals with all profits going to the fundraising appeal.
To sponsor the couple, visit their Facebook page: on.fb.me/1laa81p or ourjourneytosurrogacy.weebly.com