The Bernstein family (see Michelle's story above) is very involved in the March of Dimes. Their family team, Team Believe, walks in memory of Riley who would have been 5 this year, in the annual March of Dimes North Suburban March for Babies in Arlington Heights. They have raised more than $24,000 so far. Even though this year's has passed, fundraising continues. To help, click here.
Lisa Shiner married her high school sweetheart when they were both 19 and decided to start trying to have a baby right away.
"Being that we were both 19, we both thought this would be easy, since we're young and fertile."
They were very, very wrong.
Shiner started having pain during sex and was diagnosed with endometriosis. She had a large cyst on her ovary, plus adhesions and growths in her bowels. Over the next two years, she had surgery to correct the problem and underwent countless fertility treatments. She made one final appointment to discuss in vitro fertilization (IVF), but on the day of the appointment, she found out she was pregnant.
Shiner had a healthy baby boy, and decided to try again for a second baby.
The pain returned even worse than before, and Shiner's doctor found more cysts. She continued trying to have a baby for the next five years, and when her son was 7, they decided to do whatever it would take to have another baby.
After three failed inseminations, her doctor suggested IVF.
"I was feeling drained, tired and sick of getting poked and felt up," she said. "Is that selfish?"
Two failed IVF treatments later, the doctor was stumped.
The doctor gave her some new options: Either get an egg donor, where the success rate would be 80 percent, or explore surrogacy.
"We just don't mesh," Shiner told everyone. "When the sperm and egg meet, everything dies."
She started researching adoption.
And then she got pregnant-without any fertility treatments.
On July 25, 2009, Mackenzie Grace was born.
Four months later, Shiner stood in her bathroom in complete shock.
She was pregnant again.
On June 23, 2010, Emersyn Rose was born.
"So there you have it, two miracles in less than a year, born to us after being told, 'Probably not going to happen.'"