A SEATON couple hope to set a world record when raising money to have a surrogate baby.
Sara and Sean Perry have lined up a string of fundraisers over the coming months, hoping the Can Can dance world record attempt will attract at least 1,504 participants to Cliff Field Gardens on July 23rd.
The largest Can Can dance was achieved by 1,503 participants in Glasgow in September 2009.
Mrs Perry said: “Follow My Joy and the Say I ‘Can Can’ Campaign world record breaking attempt has been created to help raise funds for a surrogate to carry a child for us, but also to instil some confidence and self-worth in others who have faced similar struggles.
“In my belief, there is nothing like a good dance to get the happy endorphins going which is why I chose the Can Can.”
Their attempts to become parents started more than 10-years-ago, and Mrs Perry explained: “Sean and I were married in 2003 and it was always a consensus between us that we would start a family.
“At first we just left it in the ‘hands of the gods’ but, as time went on, we realised that maybe there was a problem and decided to do some further exploration.
“I discovered that my tubes were blocked and we were told that the only chance for us to have a baby naturally would be to go down the route of IVF.
“This is an invasive procedure and comes with little guarantee and high cost, both emotionally and financially.
“Being under 40 we were eligible for one round free of charge, but it often takes more than one to achieve success.
“After weighing up the pros and cons we decided that maybe adoption was a better alternative.
“This may seem odd to some people as many would do everything to have their own child first. But to Sean and I it was about being parents and we felt that there were plenty of children already born who would be glad to have a family.”
But, following an “uncomfortable and painful process,” the attempt failed.
Mrs Perry said: “I was beside myself as it seemed everything was against us.
“I am a naturally positive person and always have a ‘plan B’ but this time I felt at a complete loss and all out of options. I had always believed that I would be a mother from a young age and in my head it was a given. I just couldn’t understand why I had been dealt such an unfair blow. I was angry at the world, felt a failure as a woman and also carried the guilt that I was denying Sean the opportunity to be a dad.
“It made me so sad to know what great parents we would be and how unjust the whole situation was.”
At the time she was a dance teacher and struggled to keep a lid on her emotions when surrounded by children.
She said: “It was heartbreaking and so difficult keeping a smile on my face when parents moaned about their kids or when I heard about yet another baby being born close by.”
The couple’s efforts continued, this time by revisiting the adoption option. A long process, which included a successful appeal, ended when they were told they would not be recommended after all.
Mrs Perry explained: “From reading the notes afterwards it was clear that our unsuitability was much to do with monetary stability, but by that time I felt it was the end of the road.
“For three years Sean and I had put ourselves through so much interrogation, only to leave us feeling more worthless than we had begun.
“Not wanting to put our lives on hold any longer or go through anymore heartache we made the choice to stop and find fulfilment in our lives in another way. It was time to accept that this was not to be and we resigned ourselves to a life without children. This could have destroyed us as a couple but we looked at the positives and I believe it has only made us stronger.”
About a year later she discovered she had a huge fibroid in her uterus, which she described as “the final nail in the coffin” and “the door shutting for good”. They found a way to “accept the disappointment” but there were constant reminders.
Mrs Perry said: “I still feel the sadness, especially when we are on holiday together watching families by the pool or when wishing to have kids around at Christmas time.”
But, suddenly, there was renewed hope.
Mrs Perry explained: “Imagine my surprise when my half-sister, out of the blue, offered to be a surrogate.
“I didn’t quite believe it at first and I put it to the back of my mind because we didn’t have the kind of money to pursue it. It would also mean facing the pain again and another possible disappointment.
“I told myself I was happy without kids now and had a full life, but it seems the universe did have a plan after all, and a few months later the subject came up again.
“It was then that I realised that, although I had accepted we would be childless, it was still a desire within me and I was denying myself to ‘go there’ emotionally as it still hurt.
“Knowing also that this could be our last chance and the ‘age’ window was closing very quickly, we sat down and discussed the possibilities further.
“Our goal now is to raise enough money for the costs involved in helping us make this dream come true and so this is how I have come to share our story with you and to ask for help in raising the funds.”
She also said it took a lot of courage to go public, and a plan to do so late last year was put on hold. But they have now made the decision once and for all, and have lined up a string of fundraisers to fulfill their dream of becoming parents.
Mrs Perry concluded: “Thank you for taking the time to read our story.
“Regardless of whether you make a donation or not we are happy to be able to offer some positive awareness to others who maybe dealing with a similar situation.”
The first fundraiser is a double bill consisting of a morning Wellbeing Fayre and a Psychic Party evening in the Masonic Hall on May 6th. A full list of events, more information and a donation link are available online at www. saraperrypsychic.co.uk/seanandsarasurrogacy.html