Simi Valley, CA, June 03, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- For the first time, a Surrogate Mother will carry a sibling to save a child's life. Hailey Joy Kent, and her twin brother, Ryan, appeared on television shows "Grey's Anatomy", "Medium", and were about to do "According to Jim", when Hailey was diagnosed with an aggressive Leukemia. After a mis-matched stem cell transplant from an anonymous donor via the National Marrow Donor Program, Hailey's young life was saved, but she has a 75% chance of relapse. The only thing that can cure the 23 month old is umbilical cord stem cells from a 100% matching sibling, and Ryan is not a match. Hailey and Ryan were born via Gestational Surrogacy (their parents' genetic embryos carried in another woman's uterus) after their mother suffered nine miscarriages.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) will be used to identify the embryos which will match Hailey. This guarantees the new baby will be the 100% match Hailey so desperately needs.
The recent movie "Baby Mama" made the public aware of Gestational Surrogacy. While the comedy is entertaining, it is far from reality. The movie did touch on one truth; Gestational Surrogacy is expensive. The average cost for everything involved is $80,000. Due to medical bills and paying for the Surrogacy for the twins, the Kents aren't able to finance another Surrogate pregnancy.
The Surrogate Community is deeply touched by Hailey's illness and the Kent's struggles. Surrogacy Options (http://www.SurrogacyOptions.com ), a Maryland based agency, donated their services to the Kents, while attorneys Hilary Neiman and Victoria Ferrara are doing pro-bono legal work. Twenty women offered to carry as a compassionate (non-compensated) surrogate to save Hailey.
Misti, an experienced Gestational Surrogate from Texas, will be carrying Hailey's sibling. She feels strongly that she was called to do this for the Kent family. The process has begun, and everyone is looking forward to the Kent family welcoming a new baby in 2009.
Related link: http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2008/jun/01/giving-birth-to-save-a-life/