GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids family is asking for help growing their family after surviving breast cancer.
FOX 17 introduced you to Tammy Myers a few years ago while she was recovering from her treatments. She’s also been working to change screening recommendations for the disease ever since.
Now, her family needs some help making a wish they put on hold days after she was diagnosed, come true.
When Myers was diagnosed five years ago, she and her husband Jordan had been trying for baby No. 2.
When they were told they wouldn’t be able to have another child naturally, Myers had her eggs harvested and now those embryos are frozen.
The family is now looking for someone to give the ultimate gift, by carrying one of those embryos for them.
The word cancer has been a part of the Myers' life every day for five years.
“It hits you like a Mack truck and it’s something you never think you'll have to deal with in your lifetime," Jordan Myers said.
Now cancer-free, the disease is still impacting their lives, just in a way they never really imagined.
“We were trying for number two when I found the lump, so my first question to my oncologist was, 'How long do I have?’ And my next question was, ‘Does this mean I can’t have another child?" Tammy Myers said.
Tammy Myers' cancer is highly hormone positive, meaning having another baby would greatly increase the chances of it coming back.
So, with their future in mind, they made a huge decision a few days after her diagnosis.
"For someone going through cancer, it is an emergency egg harvest, so it moves very quickly, but they did retrieve eggs, fertilize them, and they've been frozen since before chemo started," Tammy Myers said.
Just weeks ago, the family learned they’d received a grant through The Samfund to cover one round of an embryo implantation with a gestational carrier.
They then put a request out into the world, on Myers' breast cancer blog and Facebook page, My Personal "Pink Time."
She said, “I don’t think we slept for the next 24 hours and didn’t even look at the post, and then our first glance, it had already been viewed over 10,000 times.”
They know it’s a hard thing to ask of someone.
“This gift is beyond measurable and something that takes a really special person to even offer and would mean so much to our family," Tammy Myers said.
It would also mean so much to their 7-year-old daughter.
Tammy Myers said, “Our daughter has been wanting a sibling since she was old enough to know that they existed. It’s something that she dreams about every day."
The path ahead is full of legalities, insurance questions, and uncertainty, but for the Myers, this chance represents hope. Not just for them, but other young families on their cancer journey too.
“I think this is the most hopefully we've probably been in the last few year I feel like, because it's just been an uphill battle in so many ways," Jordan Myers said.
“I do find myself dreaming and visualizing a future where I can, not only watch Corryn grow and develop, but also maybe another child as well," Tammy Myers said.
The way laws in Michigan are designed, a gestational carrier cannot be paid for carrying the Myers' embryo, but their medical needs would be paid for.
The family is on a bit of a time crunch with the stipulations of this grant, meaning they would hopefully find a carrier by sometime in January.
If you’d like to contact the Myers family, you’re asked to reach out directly via their email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have general questions about the gestational carrier process, you can also call the The Fertility Center.