THE family of a Darwen couple have rallied round to raise money in a bid to help them have children.

Brad and Gemma Meadows, of Rudyard Drive, have been through a decade-long ordeal and have so far been unable to have a baby.

The couple have undergone all the free IVF treatments they are allowed in Blackburn with Darwen and their desperation to start a family has led them to a top doctor in London, at a cost of thousands of pounds.

Brad, 30, a teacher in Bolton, said: “We have been trying for 10 years and it has been really hard.

“We had three goes of IVF, and each one takes eight to 10 months, but we were unsuccessful.”

During IVF, the couple underwent tests which showed 29-year-old Gemma’s body was attacking the implanted embryos and preventing her from getting pregnant.

Brad said: “Gemma has got a superhuman immune system which just kills off everything.”

The couple have started treatment with the new doctor in London where they are hopeful new techniques will prove successful.

Brad said: “A lot of stuff is in its infancy and some of these techniques are at the forefront of technology.

“We are with an internationally renowned doctor in London.”

But internationally-renowned doctors cost money, and so far Brad and Gemma have spent more £13,500 on this cycle alone.

Brad said: “It could well be £20,000 by the time we have finished.

“Most of that has been raised by family members.

“We have organised all sorts of events, including taking part in Darwen Rotary’s Tower Trudge.

“But we have spent everything we have raised and we need more money.

“Everyone has been really supportive. It has been brilliant.”

Brad said the couple had considered their options if they were unable to conceive.

He said: “The options are surrogacy or adoption, but obviously we would rather have our own baby.

“But we just want a family and that is the main thing.”