Mother Who Postponed Chemotherapy To Save Her Unborn Baby Lost Her Battle With Cancer 4 Years Later
December 28, 2018 13:40 By Fabiosa
When they say that a mother is ready to take on anything for her children, no one should ever doubt it. The example of this British woman who decided to abandon chemotherapy to save her daughter’s life is a reason to admire her greatly.
Gemma Nuttall had been battling ovarian cancer for five years until she finally lost the battle at age 29. When she was 16 weeks pregnant, the doctors made the diagnosis via ultrasonography. Doctors offered her the option of stopping her pregnancy to immediately start the chemotherapy, but she refused.
The mother’s story spread around the world very quickly. Even famous actors such as Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio were among the celebrities who announced their desire to pay for Nuttall’s treatment after the labor.
On the first stages of the treatment, the chemotherapy was successful. However, cancer returned, leaving Nuttall’s daughter, Penelope, without a mother at four years old.
Nuttall’s mother, Helen Sproates, confirmed her death in a Facebook post:
It is with an utterly broken heart that I have to tell you all that my beautiful warrior lost her battle early this morning. We fought so hard, but we just couldn't do it anymore – I am one very proud but devastated mum right now. Sleep tight Gemma. My world will never be the same again.
The increasing popularity of this sad story spread around Britain, allowing a GoFundMe account that has raised almost half a million dollars for the orphaned daughter.
Gemma's experience can serve as an example for many women in the world. According to the American Cancer Society, malignant tumors in the ovaries are the fifth most frequent cause of death in women over 60 years.
If all women had more frequent check-ups, death rates from ovarian cancer would drop drastically. Unfortunately, nowadays, only 20% of these cases are detected early enough, according to data from the World Health Organization.
Ovarian cancer can be detected with a pelvic exam, a transvaginal ultrasound, or a CA-125 blood test. Don’t hesitate to visit your doctor regularly to rule out this condition if you feel any of the following symptoms:
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- swollen abdomen
- abdominal or pelvic pain
- difficulty ingesting food or fast feeling of fullness when eating
- constant urination
Despite this tragic loss, Gemma managed to fulfill her dream of spending more than four years with little Penelope, and has inspired famous actors to help other people. Now, we hope that her death will help other women remember the importance of periodic check-ups.
What about you? Do you conduct your scheduled check-ups to prevent the unexpected tragedy? Share this article with your friends and family members to remind them about the small, yet so important procedures.