Sculpting a way to fund a future family

Chris Pye and his wife Laura are desperately trying to raise �6,000 for their sixth attempt at IVF - including Chris turning sculptor in the allotment at the bottom of their garden, and creating huge sculptures to sell.''Pictures: Scott Merrylees
Chris Pye and his wife Laura are desperately trying to raise �6,000 for their sixth attempt at IVF - including Chris turning sculptor in the allotment at the bottom of their garden, and creating huge sculptures to sell.''Pictures: Scott Merrylees
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THERE is an African proverb that says “it takes a village to make a child”.

But in the case of Laura and Chris Pye, it’s taking their friends, family, strangers from around the world and even some 6ft sculptures, to make theirs.

4 Oct 2014.....Chris Pye and his wife Laura are desperately trying to raise �6,000 for their sixth attempt at IVF - including Chris turning sculptor in the allotment at the bottom of their garden, and creating huge sculptures to sell. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1005/34d

4 Oct 2014.....Chris Pye and his wife Laura are desperately trying to raise �6,000 for their sixth attempt at IVF - including Chris turning sculptor in the allotment at the bottom of their garden, and creating huge sculptures to sell. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1005/34d

The couple, from Cudworth in Barnsley, have made their struggle to raise £6,000 they need to fund a sixth course of IVF public in the hope of having the baby they so desperately want.

‘Making Baby Pye’ has attracted donations of more than £2,400 since it was launched less than a fortnight ago, with more than 100 individual donations and people pledging to hold fundraising events and even a skydive to help the couple reach their target.

And Mr Pye has turned sculptor in his back garden, creating two 6ft sculptures out of tyres which could sell for £2,500 each.

“It’s been completely overwhelming to see the reaction we’ve had since the fundraising page went online,” Mrs Pye, 31, told The Yorkshire Post. “It’s mind blowing.”

The idea for an online fundraising page came from a friend. On the page, Mrs Pye wrote how the couple went through five heartbreaking cycles of IVF, a “rollercoaster of emotions” ,over the last seven years. “Infertility hurts so far beyond the baby,” Mrs Pye wrote. “It’s about my marriage, my friendships and my ability to picture a future.”

Mrs Pye was given just two months to live in December 2007 after being diagnosed with the rare blood disorder Aplastic Anaemia. The resulting chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant left her unable to conceive naturally. The couple began their first cycle of IVF in 2010, just three months after their wedding and were “absolutely devastated” when it didn’t work. Three further cycles took place in 2011, but all were unsuccessful.

Last September the couple went through their fifth cycle, when for the first time, Mrs Pye became pregnant.

But sadly, it did not work out.

“It was the first time in my life I’d become pregnant. We were devastated, but we now know my body works,” said Mrs Pye. “All the time you hear about success stories, you never hear of the people like us, who are struggling so much.”

Mr Pye said: “Last year we got so close, we thought ‘this is it’, but when we got the negative result, we were so upset, we were devastated. We thought, how could we manage again.

“Without the fundraising campaign, we can’t imagine how long it would have taken to fund the next cycle. But the money is being raised so quickly. We can’t believe the support we have had.”

Mr Pye’s sculptures, made of recycled tyres, are also up for sale. One, based on Star Wars character Boba Fett, is on display at Barnsley Antiques Centre. A second, based on the aliens from the Alien movie, took three months to make. The couple have also received donations of items, including tickets for Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield Steelers, Sheffield United and Barnsley FC matches, for a raffle that will be held at Monk Bretton Community Centre on October 18. Lakis Fish Bar, in Barnsley Road, Cudworth, will donate all profits made on October 12 to the fund.

Mrs Pye said: “A lot is coming from people we’ve never met before. For a stranger to do this for another stranger - it restores your faith.”

To donate, visit https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/1sAS6.