Kim Coseno and her husband Joe wanted very much to have a child, but fate had not proved to be kind, leaving them unable. But amazingly, Kim’s mom stepped up and offered to be their surrogate. Then when they saw the scans, they got an unexpected surprise.
The Cosenos are parents from Ohio with a very unusual story. It hadn’t looked likely for them to be able to have the family they were desperate for. This was because Kim had previously had a partial hysterectomy, which had left her unable to conceive.
However, the Cosenos were determined the find another way to expand their family. That’s when Kim’s mom, Jaci Dalenberg, came to them with a generous offer. Despite being 56 years old, she suggested that she could be the couple’s surrogate.
Although there were likely to be some risks involved given Dalenberg’s age, she was still prepared to go through it all for her daughter. Dalenberg told Today how Kim and Joe were “really sincere about having children,” adding that they were “great people.”
The Cosenos accepted Dalenberg’s kind offer and soon started the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process, which saw Dalenberg’s uterus implanted with embryos. “It’s just another thing I’m doing for my daughter, you know, a mother’s love,” she declared at the time.
The treatment was successful, and Dalenberg officially fell pregnant at the beginning of 2008. But, as is often the case with IVF, Dalenberg ended up carrying more than just the one baby for her daughter. In fact, she was pregnant with triplets.
Then, on October 11, 2008, Dalenberg gave birth to the three babies. Kim and Joe became proud parents to a set of identical twin girls and their sister that day – all of whom were delivered via cesarean section and weighed less than three pounds.
They weighed so little because they were all more than two months premature, but on the whole, Ellie, Gigi and Carmina were healthy babies. Just before the Cosenos took their three daughters home for the first time, they spoke to ABC’s Good Morning America.
During that TV appearance Kim said that the three babies were “doing fantastic,” and soon after that, they began family life back home. However, life wasn’t to go completely smoothly for the Cosenos. Soon afterwards, the world started to throw them some serious curveballs.
In 2014 Kim and Joe had some devastating news. One of their daughters, Ellie, was diagnosed with not one but five brain tumors. She had to undergo numerous surgeries, but it soon became clear that they would need to move home to give Ellie the best chance.
The Cosenos found that there was a very good hospital in Sunrise, Florida, called Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, so they decided to move their whole family away from Ohio to be closer to it. But in a tragic twist of fate, they discovered that their other two daughters had brain tumors as well.
All three of their daughters were diagnosed with atypical arachnoid tumors by the time that they were eight years old. Not only was the news totally devastating emotionally, but the Cosenos were also left in a tight financial spot.
Surgeries and treatment for the three little girls were expensive, and Kim and Joe were unable to afford them all. The financial stress was so great that the Cosenos ended up having to sell some of their belongings.
The medical bills were so high that Joe was forced to sell his car, and even more poignantly, the devoted parents also sold their wedding rings for some extra cash. The Cosenos were prepared to do anything for Gigi, Carmina and Ellie.
The family didn’t know their new area very well, but that all changed when they appeared on a local TV station. The Cosenos shared their heartbreaking story with CBS4 News, and thankfully, the right people watched the report.
Joe Miranda and his wife saw the Cosenos’ struggles and decided to do something to help them through their difficult time. The Mirandas gifted the family a Kia SUV so that they could get to their hospital appointments more easily. Not only that but they paid for a family excursion to Legoland.
Kim told CBN news that she was “in shock” when she heard about the incredible act of kindness. “I couldn’t believe it,” she said, while her husband said that the Mirandas had changed their lives. But little did the family know that there was more to come.
Once the rest of the Sunrise neighborhood heard about the Cosenos’ rough time, something amazing happened. The community put together a fundraising event in honor of Ellie, Gigi and Carmina, and it raised a total of $10,000.
“That money, honestly, would help pay for medical testing that we just can’t afford,” said Kim. But it was also the community spirit that humbled the Cosenos. “We came from knowing zero people here, we knew no one in south Florida, to now we have this huge community with numbers and names that we can call,” Kim said.
And as for the girls, they’re just focusing on getting better. Their dad says that, as parents, he and Kim “try to focus on doing everything to make sure they’re happy and to live every part of their life as full as they can.” And it does seem to be working, because he adds that most of the time his daughters are “in pretty good spirits.”