Twins start their lives sharing everything, and some of them never stop.
Sarah Sharp and Cathey Stoner are twins who have been close all of their lives. Nine months after Sarah gave birth to her first child in 2018, she developed a rare form of uterine cancer.
She was soon diagnosed with choriocarcinoma, a cancer that forms from leftover placental cells in the uterus after a pregnancy or miscarriage.
“It rocked me to my core,” Sarah explained. “My OB never had a case, so it was pretty rare as cancer in general. I was coming out of a postpartum phase but had a prolonged period for 30 days, which is abnormal.”
The mom had surgery and underwent a brutal round of chemotherapy. “It was five chemotherapy drugs where I was overnight in the hospital. That was pretty tough,” she told Today. “I did that for about six months and I was actually pronounced cancer-free.”
At 33, Sarah was hoping to have more children, so her doctors did their best to preserve her uterus during her first round of treatment. Unfortunately, her cancer came back in 2019, and the only option was a hysterectomy and more chemo.
As Cathey watched her sister fight the disease, she occasionally joked that she would carry any future babies Sarah might want. When Sarah’s condition worsened, Cathey let her know that her offer was still on the table.
“When it got really serious, we were just hoping Sarah was going to be OK. It was really gut-wrenching and hard,” Cathey said. “Before she had her hysterectomy, my husband and I had another conversation about offering to help them in this way if it worked out.”
Thankfully, Sarah beat cancer a second time and is now in remission! After more discussions between the sisters and their husbands, they decided to move forward with the surrogacy plan.
Sarah’s doctors were able to create three viable embryos. No one was sure the embryos would take hold, but incredibly, Cathey got pregnant when the very first one was implanted!
“It was really refreshing to get those green lights because we’d come from a couple of years with bumps in the road, taking detours, receiving hard information,” Sarah said. “It was an answer to our prayers.”
Cathey is in her third trimester carrying a little boy, who will be named John Ryder when he’s born in August. She’s had an easy pregnancy and can’t wait to meet her nephew!
Meanwhile, Sarah plans to be present at the birth to catch the baby and cut the umbilical cord. She feels doubly blessed for not only surviving cancer, but also being able to welcome a new life into her family thanks to her sister’s extraordinary act of generosity.
“I am so honored and just grateful for this incredible gift,” she said. “I never thought in a million years we’d have another baby and the fact that we have a son is amazing. It felt really easy because Cathey and I just communicate really well.”
There’s nothing these two sisters can’t tackle as long as they’re together! What a wonderful way to support a family member who has gone through cancer.
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