When Samara van der Worp and her now husband Wynn went on their first date, he asked her if he had children. Nodding, she told him she had 10.
'I thought it might scare him off, but it didn't,' 32-year-old Samara laughs, going on to explain that while all 10 are biologically hers, only one, Alex, lives with her.
The Brisbane mum is an egg donor, and over the past six years she's donated 15 times - resulting in nine children for families unable to have kids of their own.
'I became interested in egg donation after my own rocky experience having a child,' Samara tells New Idea. 'I have a hormone deficiency, which makes it very difficult for me to get pregnant, and it took five years to conceive Alex. It was a long and painful journey and I wondered, with egg donation, If I could take the pain away from another desperate family.'
As she looked into it and then made the decision to donate to a woman who'd been trying for a baby for 15 years, her sister Sarah was by her side.
'Sarah's seen all my struggles and always been very supportive,' Samara says. 'About six months after I donated eggs, she talked to me about whether she could do it too. I told her if you can, you should, and our journey began there.'
'I had three children very easily,' Sarah, 34, reveals. 'I know how lucky I am and if I have eggs I'm not using, it makes sense to share them.'
Over the next six years, the pair met hundreds of childless families and went through numerous, often painful retrievals to help some of them.'
'I woke up from one retrieval to see 32 written on my hand, which was the number of eggs they'd extracted, Samara remembers. 'My nurse was so excited it was such a large number, but I'd seen the lady next to me had zero written on her hand. She was bawling and her pain killed me. I know what it feels like and it inspired me to keep donating.'
'There's no exception to stay in touch, but the women I've helped have become great friends with me and often each other,' Samara says. 'We have a Facebook group and we meet up annually.
Most recently Samara helped Paula and John Kavanaugh have baby Liam. Months later, Paula asked Samara if she would consider donating again to give Liam a little brother or sister, but for once, Samara said no.
'Wynn and I were going through IVF and at last we'd fallen pregnant,' she explains. 'Of course I still wanted to help Paula, so I spoke to Sarah about whether she'd do it instead.'
Sadly Samara lost her baby at 12 weeks, but she refuses to let her sadness impact on how she feels for other families.
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea - out now!
This article originally appeared on New Idea.