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Tribute to twins
Wallingford couple Sharon and Gavin Robinson are hoping to raise thousands of pounds for charity after the loss of their baby twins.
But the Robinsons are also preparing to pay out £6,000 themselves in the next few months for IVF fertility treatment in a bid to help Mrs Robinson conceive again.
In the meantime, they are focusing on raising money for charity, with a fundraiser at the Cross Keys pub in Wallingford High Street, in aid of the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (Sands), and nursing staff at the Ashfield suite of the maternity unit at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.
They are staging the event again after losing their twin babies on March 18 last year when they were born prematurely at 23 weeks.
Indie lived for 42 minutes, while her twin brother Alfie was stillborn.
Mrs Robinson, 37, a self-employed holistic therapist, said last summer’s fundraiser, a head shave and waxing session, raised about £4,000 for charity.
She said: “This year we are simply asking people to turn up at the pub with dyed hair or with a colourful wig on. It would be great if we could raise as much money this year as we did last year.
“About 300 people came along and it was a really busy day.
“The first time we had IVF was because I had unexplained fertility problems and I conceived the twins.
“Then we had a second round at Christmas which cost about £1,000 but unfortunately didn’t work.
“Now we are looking at another round of IVF in a month’s time, but it will cost about £6,000.
“Each round of IVF is expensive and it’s heartbreaking when it doesn’t work.
“Nothing will ever replace the twins but we would love to be able to have children and IVF is our only hope at the moment.
“We want to raise money for people who have been what we have been through, and raise awareness of these fertility issues and of the support network that is out there.”
Mr Robinson, 28, who works as a barber in Wallingford, added: “Lots of couples are going through what we are going through and have to consider IVF.
“We are looking to the future and we hope it will be a bright one. By organising this fundraiser we hope we can help other people.”
Sarah Vaccari, a fundraising spokesman for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are very grateful to the Robinsons and their local community for their continued support, and for doing something so positive in the wake of such a sad experience.”
The health watchdog Nice has said the age limit for IVF treatment on the NHS should be lifted to 42, for women who had not previously had it, and for whom there was an unidentified cause of infertility.
But fertility experts are also warning some women are trying for children late in the mistaken belief IVF can help everyone The event runs from noon until 10pm.