‘Survivor’ Couple Shares Heartbreaking Story

Keith Tollefson and Whitney Duncan attend the 21st Annual CAA BBQ

Getty Keith Tollefson and Whitney Duncan attend the 21st Annual CAA BBQ

“Survivor” couple Whitney Duncan and Keith Tollefson recently opened up about the tough journey they’ve been on to try to have a baby. Here is what Duncan shared with her followers.


Duncan Revealed Her Infertility Struggles

In an emotional Instagram post, Duncan shared that they have been trying for years to get pregnant and it turns out she has a “diminished ovarian reserve.”

“This is a hard story to share, but I feel like it’s important to be real for all the others that are also on this journey – I found out a couple years ago with a @modernfertility hormone test that I had a low egg reserve (I didn’t even know that was a thing),” wrote Duncan. “At that point we hadn’t really been ‘trying’ but taking the whatever happens, happens approach.”

But seven years went by and they could not get pregnant. Duncan then had to have a fibroid tumor surgically removed and after more blood tests, she was told she “had a diminished ovarian reserve.”

“Makes no sense since I couldn’t have lived a healthier lifestyle,” said Duncan. “Anyway, we knew we had to take the most aggressive approach if we wanted #keithney babies, so we did. Over 100 shots, 2 egg retrievals, a lot of $$$$ later, and we still aren’t pregnant. We are gonna keep trying, cause y’all know I don’t quit at anything. And ladies, if you think you want kids later – do all the testing so you can freeze eggs if you need to. Prayers for all that are going through this also!”

In the Instagram video, Duncan chronicled a recent egg retrieval and implantation journey where they had two embryos and she actually got a positive pregnancy test, only to be negative a few days later because it was a “chemical pregnancy,” which is basically a very early pregnancy loss where an embryo implants but does not continue to grow in the uterus.


Duncan’s Reality Family Was Quick to Offer Words of Support

Duncan and Tollefson met on “Survivor: South Pacific” and their castmate Ozzy Lusth immediately told them, “Sending y’all some extra [love].”

Fellow musicians — Duncan actually got her start on “Nashville Star” — were also sending thoughts and prayers. Chuck Wicks wrote, “You got this!” and Natalie Stovall added, “Oh, honey. Sending you so much love and prayers.”

The couple, who also competed on “The Amazing Race,” recently celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary. They were married on July 27, 2014, according to Duncan’s Instagram post on their anniversary. The video showed still photos from their wedding day, including a horse-drawn carriage ride and their first dance. In the comment section on the infertility post, someone asked Duncan if they’ve considered adoption. She replied, “We are gonna give this another shot, then will consider.”

They are not the only “Survivor” couple to have opened up to fans about their infertility struggles. Jaclyn Schultz Misch and Jon Misch have tried for years to have a baby via in-vitro fertilization. They got pregnant in 2020 but at 20 weeks along, their surrogate suffered a miscarriage.

In an emotional Instagram story months after they lost their baby, Schultz Misch said, “I feel like our life just shattered and crumbled to pieces. If you have been following along on our road to baby Misch, you know what I’m talking about. But I’m here. I just took a really long break just for myself, for our marriage, for, you know, all the things. So anyway, I’m here, I miss you guys.”

“Survivor” returns on Wednesday, September 22 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

READ NEXT: ‘Survivor’s’ Elizabeth Beisel Has 2 Big Roles for the 2021 Olympics


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