Information. Support. Hope. When a woman is pregnant and diagnosed with cancer, these three things take on great importance.
A cancer diagnosis by itself is a frightening and life-changing event. Imagine learning you have cancer when you are pregnant, trying to nurture a tiny life into being. It could be terrifying. But women have faced and overcome these circumstances before, and women diagnosed with cancer while pregnant don't have to face it alone.
Hope for Two: The Pregnant with Cancer Network is a non-profit organization that provides resources for women diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy. Women who have been through this are connected with women who are currently pregnant and fighting cancer, providing an outstanding network of support, information, and hope during this difficult time.
You can support the work these women do to help pregnant cancer patients. Your donation through this Gift That Gives More™ supports the work of Hope for Two: The Pregnant With Cancer Network.
How You're Helping
So far, donations garnered through this Gift That Gives More™ have funded the peer to peer counseling program and the volunteer support woman training project. As of Fall 2011, eighty-seven (87) pregnant women with cancer were matched up with one of the program's support volunteers, and another fifty (50) women were certified in the volunteer program. Your caring help touched women in Australia, Thailand, Russia, Europe, South America, North America, East Africa, and New Zealand!How did we come to fund this group?
After she won The Breast Cancer Site's Inspirational Stories contest, Annie Clemmons alerted us to the good work of Hope for Two: The Pregnant with Cancer Network. Once we had talked with some of the women who work for Hope for Two, we knew we wanted to support this group, which was providing such a great service to pregnant women who are fighting cancer.Athena's Story
Donors like you have helped so many women, such as Athena , who was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, triple positive breast cancer in March 2016 when she was 7 weeks pregnant. She received treatment prior to delivery and gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Persephone, this past October before resuming further treatment. Here's a poem she wrote about her experience:
I Hold A Light
I held a lumpI held my breathI held my husband and wept
I held my face in my hands and criedI held my breast before they took itI held my chest afterI held my belly as it grewI held my friends and family I held my dreams and my plansI held my sadness and darkness
And I held my fearOn October 19th I held something different. Something I've never held so strongly......I held hope. 6 pounds and 8 ounces of hope. I held my babyToday I hold a torch. For her and other women who may walk the path.I won't hold the silenceI will hold the light. Here is Annie's winning story.
Bump vs. Lump!
Convention dictates that a mother and father create a new baby, but my daughter, Harper, is 25% me, 25% daddy, and 50% the result of every prayer said for us both while we fought breast cancer together. Some say it takes a village to raise a child; MY village was responsible for producing one!
Two weeks after learning that I was pregnant, I was diagnosed with Stage 3A breast cancer. My doctors planned a mastectomy, six rounds of chemo before my baby, and four rounds after, plus radiation. It's an agonizing thing, to be simultaneously nurturing and loving a tiny living thing in your body, while aggressively, frantically killing another. During my infusions, bald, flat-chested, my belly growing each week, the other survivors around me grew more interested in my baby. She became everyone's baby, something to pray for, to look forward to, something to take them out of their own minds for a while. She grew like nothing was amiss.
Seven weeks premature, help from the NICU, and prayers and support from parents, family, friends, and scores of absolute strangers enabled Harper to go home just 18 days later. She saved my life by forcing me to focus on the happy future.
Appreciating that she wasn't just "my" baby, I brought Harper to see all my friends at infusion, who don't often see a vibrant, happy baby in the waiting room! She came to my radiation appointments, and was passed around the office while I was being "microwaved". For those few minutes she was able to be an adorable reminder that Hope was, indeed, the most effective way to fight cancer.
Hope for Two: The Pregnant with Cancer Network strives to remove barriers preventing women from obtaining complete and accurate information about their options for dealing with cancer while pregnant, and respects and supports every woman's personal decisions without judgment. Hope for Two serves women in all socioeconomic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds world-wide.
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