After watching her twin sister 34-year-old Whitney Bliesner battle a rare hereditary disease called Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) her entire life, Jill Noe couldn't stand to see her experience another ounce of pain. Whitney wanted a family more than anything, but her disease, which causes benign tumors to grow throughout the nervous system, prevented her from having a natural pregnancy. That's when Jill stepped in to be her twin sister's surrogate.
"I have always wanted a family of my own, but knowing my disease I didn't want to make mine worse or pass it on to my children," Whitney told POPSUGAR. "I was trying to convince myself that it was OK to not have kids and just be a dog mom; people do it all the time. It wasn't until I got married that me wanting a family of my own came on strong. I didn't want to miss out on having a family and all that comes with it."
Unfortunately for Whitney, whose NF2 diagnosis had already caused her to lose her sight in her left eye, experience hearing loss in both ears, and undergo a partial hysterectomy for fibroids, she was unable to carry her own children.