WHITTIER (CBSLA.com) — Growing up only 15 months apart, Maggie Paxton and Morgan Williams were always close.
Two years ago, Williams pushed Paxton to go see a doctor when she noticed an irregularity in her breast.
She was later diagnosed with ductal carcinoma, a form of breast cancer, and was told she needed to undergo chemotherapy immediately.
Paxton had been trying to get pregnant when she got the news.
“I didn’t know what chemo was like. I didn’t know what cancer was like. But I knew that I wanted to be a mom. And in that moment, I thought I’m not going to be,” Paxton recalled.
Her oncologist explained to her that her cancer was driven by hormones.
“Any surge of hormones, especially during pregnancy, can increase risk of either recurrence or progression of cancer,” said oncologist Dr. Lisa Wang.
Paxton’s only option was adoption or surrogacy. That was when her older sister, Williams, agreed to be her surrogate and carry her children.
“I couldn’t protect her from the cancer. So if I could do this this way, then that was my way of, I guess, protecting her,” Williams explained.
Aa soon as Paxton went into remission last year, the decision was made to implant two embryos.
“I wanted my children to have a sibling. And I tell people – look at what my sibling has done for me,” Paxton said.
On the day of transfer, the sisters and Paxton’s husband, Danny, got the news that the two strongest embryos were girls.
“Danny kept saying: ‘two weddings, two proms, two homecomings,'” Paxton pointed out.
Deanna and Emory were born yesterday at PIH Health hospital in Whittier. They weighed more than five pounds each.
Paxton and her husband were in the delivery room.
“I just kept telling her: ‘I love you and thank you for doing this.’ What do you say?” Paxton showed her gratitude as her eyes welled up with tears.
Two years after she started her cancer fight, Paxton realized her greatest wish and another sisterhood was formed.
“I mean knowing that they’re mine. I feel like it’s a miracle,” Paxton wept.
The family plans to leave the hospital Wednesday and start their sleepless journey as a family of four.