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Last Updated: Monday, 24 October 2005, 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK
Sisters make baby with three mums
Image of baby Charlie and the three sisters
Alex holds baby Charlie alongside her two sisters
A woman left infertile after cancer treatment has had a baby thanks to her two sisters.

Alex's twin sister Charlotte agreed to donate an egg, while her other sister, Helen, offered to carry it in her womb.

Charlie, made from Charlotte's egg and Alex's husband's sperm, was born 16 weeks ago weighing 8lb 7oz, after a short labour.

Alex, from London, said: "He is an angel. I am forever indebted to my sisters."

Ultimate gift

Alex was 28 when she and her husband Shaun decided to start a family. But when Alex was diagnosed with cervical cancer she opted for chemotherapy treatment which left her infertile.

Alex recalls: "It was more upsetting than the cancer itself.

This is the closest we could get to it being her child
Alex's twin sister Charlotte

"Shaun and I wanted to start a family and that had been taken away."

When her sisters saw her anguish they stepped in.

Alex said: "When my sisters found out they said 'Is there anything we can do?'

"Shaun and I said we wanted children as closely related to us as possible. Charlotte said 'No problem, you can have my egg.' It was almost like a joke."

But Charlotte was not joking and 35-year-old sister Helen volunteered to act as a surrogate mother.

The IVF treatment had a one in four chance of working but, thankfully, Helen became pregnant after the first attempt.

Although Helen carried Charlie for nine months, she said she had no qualms about handing him over to her sister when he was born.

"I'm just a tummy mummy. I just carried the baby for Alex and I didn't see it as giving him away."

She did say she was surprised at how much she missed him afterwards, but added that she would do it again if Alex wanted another baby.

Charlotte said she was overjoyed for her twin.

"The fact that we are twins means such a lot - this is the closest we could get to it being her child. I don't need my eggs any more. I've had my children."

The sisters' story will be featured in a documentary, ONE life -Three Sisters Make One Baby, on BBC 1, Monday 31 October, 9-10pm.




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