Our world was rocked in May 2017 when we found out that my sister, Amy, was diagnosed with Grade 2 invasive breast cancer at the age of 35. Unfortunately, this was also only a few months before she was to be married to her fiancé, Tony. They also found out that the beginning of cancer treatments would be the end of their ability to have a child on their own, as Amy was told she would need to remain on oral chemotherapy treatments for up to 10 years. Knowing that she would soon be losing her hair and not feeling her best, Tony whipped up a small wedding in 9 days while Amy, my mom, and myself went on a previously planned bachelorette trip. As much as we wanted it to be, this trip was not carefree as Amy was constantly thinking about this new diagnosis, what this could mean for her future, and the stress it would take on our family. She was also having to take medications and give herself hormone injections in the hopes of being able to harvest some embryos before her chemotherapy treatments began. After many medications and injections, 3 embryos were successfully harvested and are currently rather chilly in their little freezer home just waiting for the day they can be used.
Cancer has taken a lot from Amy-not only her breasts and now uterus and ovaries, but also her dream wedding and ability to carry a child. But it has never taken away her joy, optimism, laughter, selflessness, or faith. She is still the best sister, daughter, and wife anyone could ask for. Seeing Amy and Tony go through this journey together has made me so proud to be their sister. Luckily, in June 2018 Amy was able to “ring the bell” as she had finished all of her cancer treatments.
Amy and Tony aren’t the type of people to ask for help, ever. Even when she was undergoing chemotherapy and then had her double mastectomy w/ flap reconstruction, they never once asked for help with medical bills or anything. But Amy and Tony have been trying to diligently save to start the surrogacy process, and it has proved to be a daunting process. Unfortunately, we have had 2 potential surrogates fall through, so they are now having to go through an agency to find one. Surrogates through this process can cost up to $80,000. Amy just turned 38 a few weeks ago, and I know that her greatest wish in this life is to be a mother. She and Tony always talk about how they can’t wait to have a child, who they are affectionately referring to as their future little “Amynita” right now. This year, for our family Christmas we are doing “Secret Santa.” Well, the secret is out as I picked Amy this year. While she has made a Christmas list, I know the thing her heart most desires is a child. So for Christmas this year, I want to try to help give Amy the greatest gift…a child. I know it’s the holidays, but if you feel so moved please consider donating to Amy and Tony’s surrogacy fund. Any little bit will help move us one step closer to finding a surrogate. I love Amy and Tony, and can’t wait to see them as parents. Merry Christmas and may God bless you and your family this holiday season.
***If you are wondering why the surrogacy process costs so much, please see "update post" for information on estimated cost breakdown.***