When Eric and Sarah Smith met in Aspen eight years ago, it was love at first sight. Eric and Sarah quickly began planning their future together and dreamed of starting a family. But in November 2002, just four months after their romantic wedding, Eric was diagnosed with epithelioid sarcoma, a very rare and aggressive form of cancer. The cancer was already highly developed, and the prognosis was terminal.
Despite this, Eric and Sarah were convinced that he could beat the disease, but were worried the powerful chemotherapy would ruin their dreams of having children. Eric refused to start his treatment until he was able to freeze his sperm. "We did it," Sarah says, "with the entire intention that he was going to beat this and our love was going to save him and that we would have a family together." But after an agonizing four months in and out of the hospital, Eric finally lost his battle.
After his death, Sarah was determined to carry out their dream of having children. "Eric and I discussed this before he died," she says, "and he had actually left me, in his will, the sperm that was frozen, to make sure I wouldn't have any complications moving forward with this dream." When Sarah found a willing doctor, she became the first woman in Colorado history to receive in vitro fertilization with her dead husband's frozen sperm. After the first attempt at in vitro, Sarah got the miraculous news that she was pregnant with twins, Braden Harper and Shae Curran. "I said, 'We did it, baby. We beat cancer.' It took so much of our future. But it wasn't able to take everything."n 2 to 4 pounds.