Few things compare to a mother’s sacrificial love for her child.
British mom Emma Johns displayed this ultimate act of love recently when she gave up her cancer treatments to protect her unborn son’s life.
The Daily Mail reports Johns was first diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago, just one year after she and her husband, Matt, got married.
The news and the disease were devastating, but the couple said they worked hard to stay positive and make the most of life.
As her treatment continued, doctors found more problems: cancerous tumors on her chest followed by a diagnosis of incurable bone cancer, the report states. Johns said doctors told her she probably had two to five years left to live.
In the midst of all this, Johns learned more shocking news: She was pregnant.
“Matt was away working when I got the news,” she remembered. “The doctors called me in for an emergency meeting and I knew it was bad news.
“When I sat in the doctor office and he told me my cancer was back, I was ok. He then said…’we found something else’. I immediately thought the cancer had spread all over. But he said, ‘you’re pregnant’.”
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Johns said she was on chemotherapy at the time, and doctors had told her that it made her infertile.
“After that I was shell shocked,” she continued. “They sent me immediately for an ultrasound. I expected to see a cashew nut sized fetus. Instead I saw a full sized 18 week baby sucking its thumb. I knew there and then that I was having that baby.”
Johns said her doctors recommended that she have an abortion several times; they said cancer treatment drugs are not safe for unborn babies early in pregnancy, and her son could have “serious defects.”
Johns refused. Instead, she gave up chemotherapy for a period, and later went on a weak dose that would not harm her unborn son, the report states.
“Weirdly, I always knew Phoenix would be safe,” Johns told the Mail. “He’d hidden away for so long and through so much, I knew he was a fighter. We even nicknamed him ‘Rambo!’”
Baby Phoenix was born in December after 36 weeks in the womb, according to the report.
“I felt such an overwhelming desire to care for him and be there for him through everything,” she said.
While she was pregnant, Johns’ cancer spread again, this time to her lower spine and hip, according to the report. Her family began a fundraiser for pay for an experimental cancer treatment that could help her; and the fundraiser recently surpassed its £40,000 goal.
“I knew people were inherently good but this has confirmed to me, that life is beautiful and there is always hope,” she said. “I had no idea that so many would be willing to step in and support us.”
LifeNews, in April 2012, covered a collection of stories from The Lancet, a prominent British medical journal, showing pregnant women don’t need to have an abortion to get treatment for cancer. The information shows chemo treatment does not harm the unborn baby after the first trimester, and mothers can treat their cancer without worrying about effects on the unborn child.
“Unfortunately, many doctors still recommend abortion for women diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant, so that they can treat the cancer more aggressively. This is despite worldwide research going back as far as the 1930s that shows that so-called ‘therapeutic abortion’ substantially shortens lifespan, whereas carrying the pregnancy to term makes long-term cure more likely,” Dr. Joel Brind, a researcher and professor at Baruch College, said previously.