Redcar mum Linsey Robinson is pulling on her running shoes for the IVF team at The James Cook University Hospital because without them her son Harvey would not be here.
Linsey, 31, is set to take on the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday 29 May to help support others who are undergoing IVF treatment at the Middlesbrough unit.
“Infertility is not often talked about and it wasn’t until we struggled to conceive that I realised how many people are affected by this,” said Linsey, 31.
“After four unsuccessful cycles of fertility medication we were lucky enough to be offered IVF at James Cook. For me there was no question about the decision – when you want a baby more than anything in the world, whatever the odds you grab it with both hands! There is always that fear of what happens if it doesn’t work, but you just have to take one day at a time.
“It was no easy journey, but the IVF team were there from start to finish offering emotional and practical support throughout the rollercoaster of fertility tests, daily hormone injections, bloods, invasive procedures and counselling, through to our pregnancy test date and that magical first scan where we saw Harvey’s heartbeat for the first time.
“It’s crazy to think that without them Harvey would not be here.”
Linsey took part in the Great North Run in 2011 but this will be her first marathon effort so she has been busy training – and nine-month-old Harvey has been getting in on the action.
“I’m really nervous because it’s such a long way to run but training is going well and I’ve had a lot of support from my husband Mike, 36, my mum Karen Stevens and Mike’s mum Anne Connelly.
“On the shorter runs I take Harvey with me in his little Jogger pushchair – he’s my little running buddy and he absolutely loves it!”
The fertility clinic at James Cook offers both NHS and private treatment and has one of the best success rates in the country. It provides advanced techniques such as egg freezing, oncology freezing (freezing eggs/sperm of cancer patients) and surgical sperm extraction and has its own theatre which can treat up to 10 patients a day.
Consultant gynaecologist Mr Fayez Mustafa: said “It’s fantastic that Linsey is doing this to help future patients less than a year after giving birth to baby Harvey! We wish her the best of luck for the big day!”
Linsey added: “We hope in doing this it will also make people aware of the amazing job the IVF team do, without which I might never have experienced the gift of being a mummy. The support they gave us from start to finish was amazing.
“Once you see how much goes into one cycle of IVF, it makes you understand how magical it is – it’s amazing how you can go from nothing to something so perfect!”
Linsey is running to raise funds for the Infertility Fund at James Cook. To find out more about the hospital’s fertility services go to southtees.nhs.uk/services/reproductive-medicine