LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Three years after being told she had stage 4 lung cancer, Emily Bennett Taylor is not only alive and in remission but also expecting the arrival of twin girls.
Taylor's cancer battle began in 2012, when the lifelong athlete came down with a cough. She was initially misdiagnosed with asthma, but after a chest X-Ray, doctors determined Taylor had stage 4 lung cancer despite never being a smoker.
The survival rate for patients with that diagnosis is 1 percent.
Taylor, of Woodland Hills, was 28 at the time and already had dreamed of starting a family with her husband, Miles. So she decided to undergo fertility treatment, despite the risk that it could make her cancer more aggressive.
In June 2012, she was able to preserve nine embryos.
"I knew that at the end of this, that the goal of having a family would help me fight harder," she said.
The cancer treatment included chemotherapy and surgery to remove a lung. But Taylor beat the odds and last Spring reached a milestone -- two years with no evidence of disease, or "N.E.D."
Her dream of starting a family was as strong as ever, but due to the treatment she could not carry a pregnancy herself.
As word spread that she needed some help, an old friend from Taylor's past came forward as a surrogate -- her high school track coach, Angela Stark.
"It was just sort of a dream come true that this person that I saw as being a perfect fit actually wanted to," Taylor said.
Stark, already the mother of three boys, recently sent Taylor a photo of her baby bump. She's expecting to deliver twin girls in April.
"This is everything that I dreamed of, that motivated me through my entire treatment," Taylor said. "I can't believe it's coming true. I can't believe that this is actually my life."
For more on Emily Bennett Taylor check out her blog at https://embenkickscancer.wordpress.com/ or follow her on Twitter @EmBenTay
Emily credits the Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation with funding research and helping her find the support she needed to get the right treatment. For more on the Foundation go to www.lungcancerfoundation.org
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