'Being a mum is all she wants' - Fund launched for 26-year-old's IVF dream

Bethany Skipp with her mum Hayley Hibbs

Bethany Skipper when she was 14 with her mum Hayley Hibbs - Credit: Hayley Hibbs

A mum has launched a fundraiser in hopes of keeping her daughter’s dream of becoming a mum alive after a cancer battle left her unable to conceive.

Hayley Hibbs, from Dereham, has started a fundraiser for Bethany Skipper to have an IVF and donor egg in hopes of becoming a mum.

The 26-year-old went through a four-year battle with cancer from the age of 14, leaving her ovaries "non-existent", according to her mum.

She was granted special funding for IVF after she went through menopause at 15 as a result of her treatment.

Unfortunately, the funding is no longer available for her, leaving the family needing to raise £15,000.

“Being a mum is all she wants in life,” Mrs Hibbs said.

Bethany Skipp when she was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma stage IV

Bethany Skipper when she was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma stage IV - Credit: Hayley Hibbs

“She has always wanted children, and her life revolves around working in the nursery.

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“I have to do all I can to try and give her that chance.”

In August 2009, Bethany first noticed a pea-sized lump in her neck, but doctors told the family it was nothing to worry about.

The lump continued to grow, and Bethany started to experience pain in her groin and extreme tiredness. Blood tests were coming back clear, so Mrs Hibbs booked a private appointment for her to see a consultant who referred her for a scan.

“As we drove away I remember bursting into tears and saying to her that I had been too scared to write out our Christmas cards as I thought it was cancer - she said she had felt the same,” Mrs Hibbs said.

Taff Hibbs with Bethany during her time in hospital

Taff Hibbs with Bethany during her time in hospital - Credit: Hayley Hibbs

The next day the consultant called with the news they feared. Stephanie was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma stage IV from her neck down up to and including her groin.

“Even at that early stage I can remember asking the consultant at Addenbrooke's if her eggs could be frozen as I knew she wanted children in the future,” Mrs Hibbs added.

“I was told that unfortunately the resources were not available and that treatment needed to start immediately as the cancer was advanced.”

She started her chemotherapy after Christmas but continued to go to school and even army cadets when she could.

At the end of the chemo, she had a scan, but there were still signs of cancer requiring three weeks of radiotherapy.

In November 2010, they were told that Bethany was cancer-free.

“Many people thought that I should be bouncing off the rooftops but unless they could tell me she would never be ill again I would constantly worry," Mrs Hibbs said.

In February 2011, her fears were again realised as Bethany was told the cancer was back.

Bethany Skipper aged 16, when her cancer returned 

Bethany Skipper, from Dereham, pictured aged 16 when her cancer returned - Credit: Hayley Hibbs

This time the treatment would be more aggressive. A three-week cycle and one-week recovery for several months with an Autologous stem cell transplant at the end which involved four weeks in isolation at hospital.

Bethany was released on November 21, her 16th birthday but within a couple of days, she was re-admitted as her weight plummeted.

In January 2012, a few days before Mrs Hibbs’s husband, Taff, headed to Afghanistan, the family was told the treatment had been unsuccessful and there was little more they could do.

There was, however, a drug being trialled in America but not yet licensed in the UK called Brentuximab.

Bethany Skipper pictured today, aged 26

Bethany Skipper, from Dereham, pictured today, aged 26 - Credit: Hayley Hibbs

The family had to appeal to the Hospital Board of Governors for funding, or face having to raise more than £300,000.

Fortunately their appeal was approved - but the treatment was not successful.

They thought all was lost until meeting another consultant who told them Bethany was now classed as an adult and alternative chemotherapy regimes were available.

She underwent several more rounds of chemo with the plan of a bone marrow transplant at the end if she had responded well enough.

Scans on June 9 gave the family the news they had longed for – the transplant could go ahead. There had been a significant response to the chemo, and a donor was found after a four-month search.

Bethany Skipper's family are fundraising for her to have IVF treatment in hopes of becoming a mum

Bethany Skipper's family are fundraising for her to have IVF treatment - Credit: Hayley Hibbs

The chemo had to continue until February 2013 when high dose conditioning chemo started, followed by the transplant.

Throughout all of this Bethany has also dealt with shingles five times, pneumonia at least eight times, e-coli and the discovery of a heart condition called Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome.

Bethany's mum is really hoping this funding can give her daughter the miracle she wants: " It truly would make a wish come true if my miracle could have her very own miracle."

You can donate by clicking here