"Sweet Valley High" actor Brittany Daniel revealed to People Magazine that her daughter, Hope, was just born with the help of donor eggs — from Brittany's twin sister, Cynthia.
After being diagnosed with stage IV non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2011, and enduring six months of intense chemotherapy in a life-threatening battle against the disease, Brittany, 45, knew what her next step in life would be. "I remember thinking that I had a new lease on life,” Daniel told People. “I was ready to find a partner and have a child.”
“I know Brittany would do it in a split second for me. And we’ve always shared everything, so why not this?”
Brittany Daniel played Jessica Wakefield and Cynthia played her twin sister Elizabeth in the 1990s "Sweet Valley High" TV show, based on the book series of the same name.
After a meeting with a fertility specialist, Brittany was told that chemotherapy treatments had diminished her egg reserve, she told People, making conceiving without medical intervention virtually impossible. So she decided to talk to her sister, Cynthia, about the idea of donating her eggs. Cynthia, 45, is married to "Yellowstone" actor Cole Hauser and has three children, ages 17, 13 and 8; she didn't hesitate.
“I saw it as such a simple gift I could give to her,” Cynthia told People. “I know Brittany would do it in a split second for me. And we’ve always shared everything, so why not this?”
Three IVF attempts using Cynthia's eggs were unsuccessful, Brittany told People; she was devastated and afraid that she would not get the opportunity to experience motherhood.
"I thought I might have to wrap my head around not being a mom in this lifetime," she said. "I fought so hard to get there, and I was so scared it wasn't going to happen."
Then Brittany — along with her husband, broker associate Adam Touni, whom she married in 2017 — turned to surrogacy. In August 2021, they announced they were expecting.
"This has been a long time coming and we are very much looking forward to holding our baby in our arms.” she said. “There is no way I would have ever gotten through this without my family. My family is everything to me and I feel like they saw me through this.”
Brittany's daughter, Hope Rose Touni, was born on Oct. 24 at 7:11 a.m., weighing 7 lbs., 3 oz., and measuring 20 inches long. Brittany was in the labor room when her daughter was born.
"I just let out this primal cry,” Brittany said. “The entire room was bawling because they just all knew what we had been through.”
Then, in December and after self-quarantining and testing negative for COVID-19, Cynthia was finally able to meet Baby Hope, too.
“I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel at first, what emotions would come up,” Cynthia told People. “But I just felt like the aunt. And that is really special.”
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