Whitney Bliesner was in eighth grade when she received a life-changing diagnosis. Whitney was told she had a rare genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), which can cause benign tumors to form on nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
She lost sight in her left eye and hearing in one ear, and she has only partial hearing in her other ear.
Over the years, Whitney has undergone six brain surgeries and a hysterectomy, since doctors told her that NF2 could pose incredibly high risks for her and her children should she get pregnant.
Whitney desperately wanted to conceive a child — but she also knew that she wouldn’t be able to afford a surrogate. Adoption also seemed too expensive for her and her husband.
She started to lose all hope of starting a family.
But there’s something else about Whitney that is crucial to her story: She has a twin sister named Jill.
Jill Noe is a former star basketball player for Arizona State University. She and Whitney have always been the best of friends.
In December 2017, while Whitney and Jill exchanged stocking stuffers during the holiday season, Jill offered to act as Whitney’s surrogate — as if it was really no big deal. No hesitation, no strings… just pure selflessness.
The first round of IVF failed, but the sisters tried one more time. And this time, they were in for an even bigger surprise.
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