An Oregon woman was told she couldn’t give birth herself, so her twin sister offered to be her surrogate. Months later, the sister gave birth to two babies — twins.
Whitney Bliesner’s doctors had told her the only way she could have children was through surrogacy, but she never expected her sister to offer her womb.
But Jill Noe, a former college basketball star who is Whitney’s twin, was insistent. She wanted to make her sister’s dreams of motherhood a reality.
In June, Noe gave birth to her sister’s own set of twins, a boy and a girl, just days ahead of their shared 35th birthday.
“It’s the best gift that I could ever ask for,” Bliesner told CNN affiliate KNXV.
Diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2, a rare genetic disorder that produces benign tumors in her nervous system, she was advised not to have children to avoid passing the illness onto them. But she knew she wanted kids, especially given the strength of her relationship with her sister, she said.
Noe, former shooting guard on Arizona State University’s women’s basketball team, blurted out the offer during the sisters’ annual stocking-stuffing night in Portland, Oregon, in December 2017.
More than a year and a half later, Noe delivered Renley and Rhett by cesarean section at a Portland hospital, their ecstatic mother by her side.
The sisters aren’t strangers to supporting each other during difficult times. An ACL tear in Noe’s knee benched her for two seasons before her return in 2005.
Around the same time, Bliesner was undergoing one of six brain surgeries related to her illness, she told CNN.
Now, she and her husband are sharing parental duties, changing diapers and switching sleep shifts. She’ll tell them about their aunt Jill when they’re older, she said, the woman who helped bring them into the world.
“It’s not blood. It’s about taking care of your babies and giving them love, support and security,” she said.