Beating the odds, West Fargo couple has child after breast cancer diagnosis


WEST FARGO — Tiffany and Nate Olsen had a perfect life together. The Concordia graduates dated, got engaged and planned to have a family.

Then, just 14 days after their wedding, came the news: A life-changing diagnosis for Tiffany at the age of 32.

"I think it was June 4 that I went in for the ultrasound and I could tell right away from the technician . . . that she saw it," Tiffany remembers.

Doctors discovered she had triple positive breast cancer, which would require surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Tiffany and Nate were told it was unlikely they would be able to have children.

"We had just gotten married, and it . . . seemed like everything that we had planned for was thrown down the drain, and we just didn't even have a chance," Tiffany said. "It just felt really unfair."


In the hopes of having children, Tiffany had her fertilized eggs frozen before her cancer treatment. But the wait was discouraging.

"I was bracing myself for it not to work because we were told it was a 50/50 chance," she said.

Now, the couple whose hopes of a family seemed dashed not too long ago, have a daughter who is nearly 4 months old.

"Just (to) think of last summer where we were — how defeated and hopeless we felt . . . and here she is," Tiffany said.

Nate said it's especially exciting for the couple to have a daughter considering that the odds weren't in their favor.

"You don't think about all the steps it took to get here, and so when you do sit down and think about that, it's pretty amazing that she's here," he said. "We're just grateful and thankful that it worked."

Now that Nate and Tiffany have their daughter, Lola, they are optimistic about the future. They still have one frozen embryo being taken care of in a medical facility.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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