Elle’s most difficult decision
Elle Halliwell found out she was pregnant just 48 HOURS after being diagnosed with a dangerous blood cancer.
After deciding to start a family, Elle had visited her doctor for routine tests to check her vitamin levels. But two weeks later doctors gave her devastating news: she had chronic myeloid leukaemia, a blood cancer that interferes with normal blood cell production.
It’s a rare cancer diagnosed in only around 330 Australians each year and until recently it had very poor survival rates.
Still reeling from the shock, Elle had a strange urge to do a pregnancy test.
“When I saw two little blue lines I was just in shock. How can someone with cancer carry a baby to full term?” Elle said.
Elle faced an excruciating decision: continue with her pregnancy and risk her own life, or start treatment and miss the chance to become a mother.
“Nick and I made the decision to go through with having the baby, and then we reached out to the Leukaemia Foundation.”
Thanks to supporters like you who are funding our life-changing Blood Buddies program, we were able to put Elle in touch with another mum who had been on a similar journey to inspire and support her during pregnancy.
“It instantly gave me hope there was light at the end of the tunnel and a vote of confidence that, although there were risks, I could see the pregnancy through. I’m really grateful to the Leukaemia Foundation. It’s made a difference and meant I haven’t felt alone.”
Elle gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Tor in December and has since begun her life-saving treatment.
Elle and Nick have raised their lanterns with friends and family at Light the Night for several years.
“It is always a deeply moving moment,” Elle said. “Seeing so many others there in support is so comforting.”
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