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 tumours 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.

Whitney Bliesner has Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), which Mayo Clinic defines as “a genetic disorder that causes tumours to form on nerve tissue anywhere in your nervous system, including your brain, spinal cord and nerves.”

“She’s always wanted to be a mom and her disease has already taken so much from her,” Roe told Today of her inspiration behind the generous gesture. “I wasn’t going to allow (NF2) to take this opportunity from her, too. She’s my best friend and I know she would have done the same for me.”

“I really didn’t put much thought into becoming a surrogate at all,” she added. “It just felt like the right thing to do. Our family is so strong and so supportive of one another, especially since Whit’s diagnosis in 8th grade.”

Despite her initial willingness to help, the road to getting pregnant was a long one for Jill. After her first round of IVF failed, Jill was left feeling like she had failed her sister.

It was such a tough and sombre day for all of us. Whit — true to form — was positive and sweet. She encouraged me and lifted me right back up and said, ‘It’s OK. If and when you are ready, let’s try again.’”Noe is now 30 weeks along in her pregnancy with a healthy set of twins, a boy and a girl, due June 6. The soon-to-be parents have already picked out the names, Rhett for the boy and Rhenley for the girl.Noe and Bliesner have been supported by their family, especially their mother, whom Noe described as “the catalyst” for them to be such a strong family.“It’s just instilled in me and Whitney, and obviously my other siblings, that no matter what adversities we faced, we’re always there together and we’ll go through it as one big strong unit,” Noe said.

Credit: Fab Woman

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