An amazingly brave teenager gave birth to a baby girl last week in Philadelphia while battling a deadly brain cancer.
Dana Scatton, 17, of Pennsylvania, is doing fairly well undergoing rounds of radiation treatment, and her “miracle” baby, Aries Marie, is thriving. The past few months have been extremely difficult for Dana and her family, but they told The Advertiser that their faith is keeping them strong.
The first shock came during the summer when Dana discovered she was pregnant. Though afraid, Scatton chose life for her baby girl, and her parents Lenore and Robert Scatton supported her decision.
“In June, Dana found out she was pregnant,” her mother told the news outlet. “She had an orthodontist appointment to get braces that day – and I met her there. That’s when she told me. She got out of the car, grabbed me, hugged me, and told me in my ear that she was pregnant.”
Dana continued with her plans to attend college in the fall.
“I was shocked when I first found out I was having a baby, but I was happy,” she said. “I knew my life would change, I would grow up a little faster … but that gave me more motivation.”
But tragedy struck in December. Dana said she began to experience weird delays in her speech, and sometimes her legs did not respond correctly; she also felt extremely tired.
Her family took her to the emergency room where doctors ran a series of tests. According to the report, the doctors discovered a cancerous, 2.3 centimeter tumor on her brain. She later was diagnosed with a deadly, incurable form of brain cancer called DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma), the report states.
That was on Dec. 10, and she was 7 months pregnant.
Dana decided to start radiation after she gave birth, fearing for her unborn daughter’s safety, but she quickly became sicker and sicker. She said she started struggling to breathe, and she could no longer walk up or down stairs.
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On the day after Christmas, her doctors decided that Dana could not wait any longer. They began radiation, assuring her that her unborn baby would not be harmed.
“I feel like God just directed the doctors to help decide what I should do,” Dana said. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start radiation without having the baby because I didn’t want it to hurt her. But I couldn’t decide what to do – it was too hard.”
She gave birth to her daughter, Aries Marie, on Jan. 4. The tiny miracle weighed 4 pounds 6 ounces.
Dana and her family said they continue to trust God for the future.
“God has been taking care of so much,” Dana said. “Like with the whole radiation thing, I was so worried about the baby, but when I was in there, I felt like he was holding my belly. I feel like I am just going along with him. My choice is to trust God with everything.
“Getting death thrown in your face … it’s so real,” she continued. “It really shows you what’s true. This world doesn’t matter, it’s temporary, you know? When I found out, I immediately let the world go. It’s like, that doesn’t matter anymore. We have to look at the eternal life. We all think we have so much time … honestly, I feel thankful that I have this time to wake up and realize what’s right. And I want everybody to see that.”
She currently is undergoing radiation five days a week, according to the report. Her family said Aries still is in the hospital, but she is doing very well.
The family set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Dana’s medical expenses and a possible clinical trial that is not covered by insurance. People also can follow the family’s journey on Facebook.