This is the heartwarming moment that a California woman, who underwent chemotherapy while pregnant, kisses her newborn son shortly after giving birth.
Jade Devis, 36, from Rancho Cucamonga, was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer just a few months after learning she was expecting.
Her doctors told her that her baby was likely too young to survive treatment and that she should consider terminating her pregnancy, reported Good Morning America.
But Devis refused and decided to undergo chemotherapy in an effort to save her life and the life of her unborn son.
After three months of treatment, Devis gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Bradley, and a photo has gone viral of her kissing her son – whom she has dubbed her ‘miracle child’ – on the head.
A photo has gone viral of Jade Devis, 36, from Rancho Cucamonga, California, kissing her baby boy after undergoing chemotherapy while pregnant (pictured)
Devis felt a lump in her left breast in March 2019 and was sent to a radiologist, who told her it was likely a side effect of her pregnancy. Devis asked for a biopsy and was diagnosed with stage 2 triple-negative breast cancer. Pictured, left and right: Devis undergoing chemotherapy
According to a press release, Devis discovered a painful lump in her left breast in March 2019, during her first trimester, that was hard to the touch.
Her doctor sent her to a radiologist, who said the lump was likely a symptom of her pregnancy, but Devis stuck to her guns and asked for a biopsy.
‘If I had ignored it, I would have been dead,’ she said.
A couple of weeks later, the results of Devis’s biopsy came back: a diagnosis of stage 2 triple-negative breast cancer.
One out of every eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.
More than 268,000 cases are estimated be diagnosed in 2019 and more than 41,700 people will die.
It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, behind lung cancer. Breast cancer does also occur in men but the incidence rate is less than one percent.
Triple-negative breast cancer is a rare form of breast cancer in which the cancer growth is not fueled by the hormones estrogen and progesterone, or by the HER2 protein.
Devis was told her baby was likely too young to survive treatment, but she refused to terminate her pregnancy. Pictured: Devis with her newborn son
This means tumors don’t respond to hormonal therapy medicines or medicines that target the HER2 protein, making the cancer more aggressive and difficult to treat.
Devis underwent surgery in April to remove the lump, after which she was told she would need chemotherapy.
‘I had parent guilt. I felt bad for already feeling bad,’ she told Good Morning America.
‘Then, someone tells you the only way out of the situation [is] by doing one thing you’re not supposed to do, and that puts your baby in harm’s way.’
According to a Facebook post, Devis was told her baby wasn’t big enough or strong enough to survive the treatment.
During the first trimester, chemotherapy can increase the risk of birth defects – because the organs are still growing – or miscarriage.
However, during the second and third trimesters, the placenta acts as a barrier as a barrier to let no or small amounts of drugs through to the baby.
Eventually she sought treatment at Loma Linda University Cancer Center, where doctors came up with a plan to save both Devis and her son.
Dr Gayathri Nagaraj, Devis’s oncologist at Loma Linda, told Good Morning America that, with modifications, a pregnant women can undergo chemotherapy during the second and third trimesters.
‘She received three cycles of chemo during the second and third trimesters of her pregnancy,’ Dr Nagaraj said.
‘We took a full week break so she could safely deliver baby Bradley. Now she’s completing the remainder of her chemo.’
Bradley was born on July 25 weighing six pounds, 11 ounces and with no complications.
She underwent surgery to remove the lump and then three months of chemotherapy before giving birth to a healthy baby boy name Bradley on July 25. Pictured: Devis, left, with her oncologist at Loma Linda University Cancer Center, Dr Gayathri Nagaraj
Bradley was born with no complications, and Devis will begin radiation therapy next month and will complete chemotherapy in November. Photo courtesy of KTLA
A photo went viral of Devis lying in bed with her son – her head bald after chemotherapy treatments – and kissing him.
‘My baby boy is my miracle child,’ Devis said in a statement.
‘It is surreal to remember that my pregnancy had an element of extraordinary fear. I am blessed when I look at my son, and I cannot ask for more than that.’
Dr Nagaraj said Devis will begin radiation therapy next month and will complete chemotherapy in November.
‘There’s no need to wait until the baby is delivered and give your cancer a chance to grow,’ she told Good Morning America, referring to chemotherapy during later stages of pregnancy.
‘There are risks, but there are benefits. Jade did great. She took all the medical support we offered her and she remains strong. I think this story is worth telling because of all the women her and Bradley would inspire.’
A GoFundMe page has been started to help cover the cost of Devis’s medical treatments. As of Monday morning, more than $2,300 has been raised out of a $50,000 goal.