Aurora Krystal is only five months old, but as she grows older and discovers the world around her, she will ask questions to understand how life works. Eventually, she will ask her mother, Aurora Kuger, how she came to this world, and she will realize that her mothers’ reply will not be completely conventional. In part Krystal was born out of her parents dream to have a child but in her story, love, hope, faith and science played a much bigger role in making that dream come true.
“I am going to tell Krystal she was a dream that her dad and I shared. She will know that she was an embryo who waited four years in a laboratory and that thanks to the fact that I live in this country our dream came true.”
In 2000 while Kuger was studying to become an accountant in her native country, Colombia, her studies were interrupted as her university suffered severe damage in the aftermath of an earthquake. She decided to make a negative into a positive and saw the incident as an opportunity to visit her sister in Danbury and take some English courses as well.
But Cupid had different plans for her.
Only a few days after she arrived in the United States Kuger met Tomas Jimenez .They fell in love and because of him she never went back to Colombia. After four years of dating, they got married in 2005. “In our first years of marriage we were extremely happy, we were enjoying our life together, and those years were like a honeymoon,” Kuger remembered with excitement.
She became a legal resident a few years later, through the help of her father who was an American citizen. In 2009, while she was working as a teacher’s assistant, had a regular physical exam, and due to her family’s medical history she asked the doctor if she could also have a mammogram. The doctor agreed and ordered a breast scan.
Subsequently, the physician called Kuger. “She left a voice message saying that she needed to speak with me, urgently. I knew in that moment that she was calling me to tell me that I had cancer. But even if I was sad and scared I had faith that I was not going to die, for I believe God will not give you a burden you cannot carry,” Kuger said.
After she was diagnosed with cancer in both breasts, she was referred to Dr. Cooper, an oncologist who suggested she think about the possibility of frozen embryos to insure the chance of becoming parents after her cancer treatment. He told them of a nonprofit program that helps cancer patients preserve fertility options.
Soon after, Kuger had a double mastectomy. “The day of the surgery it hit me, and I cried. But I am a warrior and I never stopped fighting against cancer,” Kuger said as she showed part of her scars.
Kruger is now cancer free. But unfortunately, the good news was short lived by another cancer diagnosis – this time in her husband. “He called me and told me that he was in the hospital and almost immediately was diagnosed with stomach cancer”. She recalled. Even though Tomas fought the same way Kuger did, his cancer was not detected in time and he passed away six months later in January of 2013. “While I was sick he was there for me and I did the same for him. The day before he died I asked him if he still wanted to have a baby with me and he responded, yes.”
Despite now being a widow, Kuger was even more determined to make their dream come true. In June of 2013 she was successfully inseminated, giving birth to a healthy baby girl.
Aurora Krystal came to this world last winter and is the reason Kuger holds on to her positive outlook.
“I am so happy with my baby even if sometimes it’s economically challenging for a single mother. She is my biggest inspiration, she gives me the strength to keep working hard,” Kuger said. “To still have a part of my beloved husband, feel his love through my daughter’s life, knowing that truly this was only possible through the generosity of the people of the United States -is my definition of the American dream”.