Crowdfunding bid by Felixstowe couple to pay for IVF treatment

Matthew Shapland

Matthew Shapland - Credit: Lucy taylor

A Suffolk man who was told he and his partner will not be eligible for IVF treatment on the NHS has launched a crowdfunding bid to raise the cash for private treatment.

Matthew Shapland, of Felixstowe, suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, a condition which causes the majority of male sufferers to be naturally infertile.

The 23-year-old and his partner, Berenice, who has a daughter Selena, four, from a previous relationship, have been trying for a baby for three years. They applied to the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for “exceptional funding” for the IVF treatment, but was refused.

Now Mr Shapland has launched a webpage appealing for people to help them – and family, friends and well-wishers are already offering support.

Mr Shapland said he was not relying on the crowdfunding project to fund all of the £5,000 needed for one cycle of IVF.

He said: “We have been saving up and will be putting that money into the pot, too.

“We have already had three anonymous donations, which has been brilliant.

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“This is really our last chance. After the refusal of the NHS funding we were left with no other options.”

The CCG said its policy aimed to ensure “best practice and equitable access to services”, using its limited healthcare resources to fairly achieve the best quality services across the CCG area.

Mr Shapland, who used to work at Greggs in Ipswich, said 98% of men with CF have fertility problems but he fell into the 2% which meant it would not be possible for him to father a child naturally.

He said: “This is due to the sperm not being able to exit because of the absence of the necessary tube – however, with modern medical procedures I can still father a child with the help of IVF.

“We are so desperate to get a chance to parent a child biologically together. We want to be able to give Selena a sibling, our parents a grandchild, grandparents a great-grandchild, and our brother and sister a niece or nephew.

“I have been through so much fighting in my life to get to the point where I am now. My parents and family gave up and sacrificed so much to ensure I got to this position in my life, and it would be a fitting reward for them as well.”

People can support the couple financially by visiting the webpage