Kate's story

We have also been through a lot since the birth of our IVF son in 2016.

We acknowledge how extremely lucky we are that IVF worked first time of us, but in reality that is where our luck ran out.

A surprise natural pregnancy when Austin was 10 months old left us utterly shocked and delighted but the joy was short-lived when an early scan at 7.5 weeks showed no heartbeat. Our first experience of miscarriage and the start of a very long road of recurrent loss.

There were another two miscarriages and a few more rounds of IVF that left us both utterly devastated. By May 2018 we had suffered enough. We decided to take the summer off and enjoy some travel as a family, away from fertility treatment and the opportunity to just live our lives with our beautiful son.

Little did we know the biggest battle we would face, was literally just around the corner.

In November 2018 my husband Phil was diagnosed with a brain tumour. After dealing with intolerable headaches and sickness he was sent for an MRI and rather shockingly we were told he had an extensive brain tumour that had spread into both hemispheres of his brain.

After seeing a neurosurgeon we learnt that he needed emergency brain surgery and that we could expect the tumour to be malignant.

Looking back I assumed that my husbands symptoms were a result of working long hours and the relentless infertility slog we had faced. I guess it just didn't seem plausible that my young, fit and healthy husband might actually have a brain cancer.

Within 10 days Phil was in hospital facing a craniotomy and signing papers that were clear to us that the result of the operation could be death. It was a lot to take as a young family and also hard to shield from our two year old son. Looking back its still raw and vivid in my mind. Thinking about that first meeting with the neurosurgeon is actually very haunting.

I spent many days wondering if he did survive would he come back as my husband and Austins dad? Or would the surgery change his personality?

Thankfully he recovered incredibly well from surgery and whilst we awaited the biopsy results we savoured every moment with him at home as a family.

In the week leading up to his surgery, Phil had very bravely managed to complete an urgent sperm freeze at our fertility clinic in London. It felt amazing to know that we had in some way safe guarded our future and the possibility of more children in the future should Phil be ok.

The biopsy results confirmed what we knew. It was a cancerous t