The Mighty Logo

This Woman's Sister Couldn't Carry a Child After Having Cancer, So She Did It for Her

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

When Dawn Ardolino Policastro found out that her twin sister, Allison Ardolino Dinkelacker, was unable to carry a child after undergoing treatment for cancer, she didn’t even hesitate to offer to carry one for her.

In 2009, at the age of 32, Dinkelacker, who lives in Mineola, New York, was 30 weeks into her pregnancy with her first son when she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer, reported. She needed to start chemotherapy immediately, so at 31 weeks she had an emergency C-section and delivered a healthy boy. She then went on to have 6 months of chemotherapy, 35 rounds of radiation and multiple surgeries.

Dinkelacker has been cancer free for 6 years now and she and her husband decided they wanted to have another child. However, since the cancer was hormone positive, she could not carry another baby herself. That’s when Policastro stepped in and served as a gestational surrogate for Dinkelacker.



“Dawn accompanied me to one of my doctors appointments and as we sat in my oncologists’ office, he said to me, ‘If you survive this, you will never be able to carry another child,’ Dinkelacker wrote on Facebook, shared by Allison Rose Photography. “Well before he even finished his sentence Dawn jumped in and said, ‘It doesn’t matter because I am going to carry their child.’”

Long time family friend and photographer Allison Rose did a photo shoot with the sisters, which she posted to her Facebook page, Allison Rose Photography, on July 28. Since then, the photos have been shared nearly 15,000 times.

See some of the images from the shoot below: 


On August 5 Policastro gave birth to Hudson William Dinkelacker, who weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces and was 20.5 inches long, reported.

How can we begin to thank you for the tremendous generosity and sacrifice you have so willingly bestowed these last few months?” wrote Dinkelacker on Facebook, shared by Allison Rose Photography. “You have given us not just the fulfillment of a wish we’ve had for the last six years, but a whole new life, and a family of four we thought we’d never have.”

Originally published: August 13, 2015
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home