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.”

Find your nearest Light the Night event and raise your lantern in 2019

Back to news