The bond between sisters — especially twin sisters — is hard to top. Especially when they live within walking distance of each other and are raising sons close in age.
So when Allison Dinkelacker got the heartbreaking news that she wouldn’t be able to give her son Dylan a sibling, her twin sister and mom of two boys, Dawn Policastro, immediately thought of a solution: She’d carry the baby herself.
In 2009, Allison was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer; she was 32 years old and 30 weeks pregnant. She immediately began chemotherapy and delivered her son Dylan the following week via emergency c-section. Because her breast cancer was brought on by hormones, the oncologist told her she wouldn’t be able to carry another child without putting her own life at risk.
Six years later, Allison remains cancer-free and Dawn fulfilled her promise to carry Allison’s second child — while keeping a huge secret: She knew the baby’s gender the entire time.
In a professional photoshoot, longtime family friend and photographer Allison Rose captured the gender surprise and bonding moments between the sisters.
On August 5, Dawn gave birth to her nephew, Hudson William, and in a letter posted on the photographer’s Facebook page, Allison thanked her "amazing" sister for her support and generosity.
“You are my hero and I have never been more proud of you. You deserve a medal of courage, of compassion and of selflessness,” Allison wrote. “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.”
“Although biologically this child will be made up of the two of us [Allison and her husband], we certainly hope that the strength, selflessness, and power you have shown are traits that he takes from you during his life." She added that her sister has made her dreams come true "with extraordinary thoughtfulness, openness and sensitivity.”