You would do anything for your family. Danielle Rants made the difficult decision to live by this life lesson and support her twin sister during her infertility crisis: by offering to be her surrogate. It was a brave decision, but it’s one that will bring the sisters closer than ever before.
Finding Out She Had Cancer
In 2016, Olympia, Washington native Kaila Jorgensen was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time of her diagnosis, she didn’t know the repercussions. She wasn’t married or had children. She thought cancer would only affect herself and her immediate family, but she was sadly mistaken. Jorgensen and her fiancé (now husband) knew they one day would want to have children. But before their wedding, they found out she was a carrier of the BRCA gene (breast cancer gene mutation). Doctors suggested Jorgensen freeze her reproductive eggs before she started chemotherapy. But once she started hormone therapy to successfully freeze her eggs, her cancer began metastasizing and she had to unexpectedly stop the process. She was heartbroken, knowing this meant she wouldn’t have children of her own.
“We had no idea what we were going to do,” she said. “We kept pushing my oncologist at our monthly visits, saying, ‘You know we are getting married soon, we want to have kids. What is that going to look like? Are we going to have to wait five years?’” Unfortunately, Jorgensen didn’t like the doctor’s answer. He told them they would have to wait and see. While they figured Jorgensen wouldn’t be able to get pregnant, they didn’t give up on their dreams of having their own family.
Twin Sister To The Rescue
Jorgensen’s twin sister, Rants, hated seeing her sister and best friend suffer. She was single and had no plans to have her own children, so she decided to take the burden off her sister’s shoulders by offering to carry her sister’s child. It’s the greatest gift someone could give, and it’s even more special coming from your sister. Rants quickly began researching surrogacy. She visited doctors and tested to see if her body would be susceptible to surrogacy. She commented, “Being her twin sister, I just decided it just kind of felt natural to offer myself to do it for her. I don’t want kids of my own, but I have a healthy body, so yeah, it just felt right.”
Shocked By The Offer
Jorgensen explained she had no idea her twin would offer to be her surrogate. She was shocked by the announcement, but incredibly humbled. She said, “I had no idea that she was even thinking about it. It totally blew me away.”
The Jorgensens decided to use Rants’ eggs for the baby instead of Jorgensen’s, so the baby wouldn’t inherit the BRCA gene. They began the surrogacy process and their first attempt proved to be successful. Rants said, “Luckily, it worked on the first try and there wasn’t a lot of failed attempts.” When Rants discovered she was pregnant, she was anticipating the pregnancy, but it was still a shock. Even though she was prepared, she didn’t know what to expect. She commented, “It was kind of nerve-wracking and I didn’t know what to expect, but I have been getting through the pregnancy okay. I’ve had no complications or anything.”
Strengthening Their Relationship
Since the pregnancy, however, Jorgensen’s cancer has progressed and she’s back in chemotherapy. But she’s excited to meet her baby boy, due in June 2019. She couldn’t get through this experience without her husband, and of course, her twin sister. Just like a pregnancy strengthens the bond between two partners, the twin sisters have grown closer during Rant’s pregnancy. Jorgensen reflected, “My sister is giving us a gift bigger than we could have ever expected or imagined. We can’t even begin to thank her enough, but we owe her everything.”
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