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Cancer survivor needs gestational carrier to have a child

PARKER, Colo. -- Since the day they were married, Paige and Jeff McCoy planned on having a family. “This was our dream,” Jeff said.

But life threw this couple from Parker challenge after challenge. First, Jeff needed lung surgery, then they needed infertility treatments. They got through it, and ended up with three normal embryos. “We were pretty excited,” Paige said.

But days before the transfer, Paige wasn`t feeling very well and went to the doctor. “She sent me to go get some blood drawn, and that night I found out I had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and mine was an aggressive form of leukemia,” Paige said.

She went straight to Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical Center in Denver and spent about 120 days in the hospital. “It was a little rough. I had a lot of complications. That`s why I was hospitalized for so long,” she said.

Paige had chemo, total body radiation and a stem cell transplant. It was a long road, but now she is in remission, and she’s ready to have her family.

But, after her leukemia and treatment, there are even more challenges. “Because I did total body radiation, my uterus is not the best environment for an embryo,” she said.

Paige is unable to carry a baby, and her doctors at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine say she needs a gestational carrier. Dr. Eric Surrey, the Medical Director at CCRM, says this is a great opportunity.

“These are wonderful women who volunteer to carry a pregnancy. They are all folks who have had uncomplicated prior term pregnancies. It’s usually a very positive experience. We make sure that`s the case because there`s a fairly complex vetting process during this as well,” Dr. Surrey said.

But, this is an expensive process that can cost anywhere from $100,000-$140,000. That pays for the gestational carrier’s care, time and legal expenses.

That`s a lot of money, especially considering Paige and Jeff already have $97,000 in medical bills. So the couple has set up a GoFundMe account. “It`s hard to ask for help, but I feel like after everything we`ve gone through ... we`ve tried so hard,” Paige said.

And they will try again, this time to find a woman to carry their child, and help them have a family. “The whole idea of someone giving us, or loaning us their body is a huge gift. I think any woman that offers that is very special,” she said.