I am a qualified English solicitor working for a major oil and gas company and have spent many years working overseas in that time. Upon my return to the UK, and having experienced fertility challenges as a couple, I was keen to get involved with the charity and to support it in its efforts to help those who everyday are undergoing their own challenges. In addition to legal skills, I bring to the Board a familiarity with the various aspects of a business, such as the planning cycle, financial and budgetary issues and general commercial matters. And personally, I bring an empathy and real life experience of what it feels like to have to undergo fertility treatment, and to be on that journey trying for a family.
When we were going through our fertility challenges, the one thing that struck us the most was how little support and information there was out there shared with young men and women wanting to, or thinking of perhaps one day, having a family. And yet suddenly, when diagnosed with fertility issues, we realised how common a problem it was, with one in six couples experiencing these challenges. To our surprise, when we started to talk of our challenges, we were amazed at the number of people who came forward and shared their own stories and experiences.
Organisations such as Fertility Network UK, therefore, play a vital role in supporting people wanting to create their own family, be it via either IVF or adoption, or deciding to lead a child-free life. The opportunity to get involved with the organisation represents a very exciting prospect, and I hope one that can help to make the path of infertility easier for folk to manage. To help remove some of the stigma that exists about talking about fertility issues, and to hopefully make the next generation of men and women better informed on this topic so as to prevent some of the avoidable cases of infertility. It would make me very happy if GPs and practice nurses could be encouraged to speak more pro-actively with their patients on these topics.