May 06, 2013 12:00 PM


What happened with your health?

In December 2011 I found out I had a BRCA2 gene mutation, which my doctor said meant my chances of developing breast cancer over my lifetime were as high as 80 percent, and up to 30 percent for ovarian cancer. My grandmother had breast cancer, and my mother [passed away after she] was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 50.

What steps did you take then?

I’d been trying to have a baby [with my husband, contractor Mike McCuddy, 38]. This stopped me dead in my tracks. So last December I had prophylactic surgery to remove my uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. My doctor told me it could reduce my chances of getting cancer by a significant amount. I took a calculated risk.

By then you had decided to work with a gestational surrogate.

When I had the surgery, it was helpful to know that this amazing woman was carrying our child—our last embryo took on the first try—and I was taking care of things to ensure I’d be around to see our son [Greyson, 3 months] grow up.

How do you feel now?

When I have my son in my arms, I think about how I’d go through it all again—the five years of infertility, the operations—just for him. I turn on pop radio, and he loves the bass, hip-hop and dance beats. He is so my baby!

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