Danielle and Anthony
Anthony and I are high school sweethearts, who met in English class our sophomore year. We continued our relationship into adulthood and went on to eventually attend the same college. We were both saddened by the news that I had been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at the age of 22. A few years after my initial diagnosis, I went into remission and thought my life was finally back to normal. We both completed college, began to work in the tech industry and even became homeowners.
I tried to conceive naturally and was so excited when my pregnancy test came back positive. I immediately told Anthony and we were both overjoyed. Unfortunately, I would go on to have two miscarriages, which were unrelated to my initial cancer diagnosis. If that wasn’t devastating enough, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer soon after my 2nd miscarriage at the age of 27. My tumors are estrogen and progesterone receptor positive, which would make pregnancy extremely risky because of the hormones. Women are living much longer with metastatic breast cancer because of new medications, but unfortunately these medications are not safe for pregnant women. My doctor told me that pregnancy was not recommended and if I proceeded with trying to conceive, the cancer could spread further and become life threatening.
With a grant from the Chicago Coalition for Family Building (CCFB), we now have the opportunity to become biological parents. With the use of my own embryos, my sister has agreed to be my gestational carrier and I couldn’t thank her enough for the sacrifice. Thank you CCFB for taking away the financial stress of completing this process. We are so overjoyed!
Danielle and Anthony are recipients of a financial assistance grant.