Teen Mom With Cancer Decides To Try Keeping Her Baby

February 21st, 2019

Being a parent often means putting your children ahead of yourself.

It happens in all kinds of different ways in life. Sometimes, it means waking up early to take your children to practice when you’d rather be sleeping in. It means saving money that you might spend on yourself and putting it aside in savings accounts for college—or even on little things around the house that make your kids’ lives better. No matter how you look at it, parents do quite a lot for their kids even in ordinary circumstances.

Still, sometimes our parents make even bigger sacrifices.

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The story of a young woman named Brianna Rawlings’ pregnancy in particular is quite inspiring.

When she got pregnant, Rawlings was only 17 years old and living in Colyton in western Sydney, Australia. Though it was a surprise, it was definitely a positive one and she was excited to see the baby through. Still, she also got another surprise—this time a very negative one. At four months into the pregnancy, she’d been diagnosed with NK cell leukemia, a rare form of cancer that is particularly aggressive. As the doctors explained, she was now faced with a terrible choice: she should perhaps think about terminating the pregnancy to focus on her own health, namely so that she could go through chemotherapy.

As it turns out, Rawlings made a choice that few of us could ever make.

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Although she was in terrible pain herself, Rawlings decided to go through with the pregnancy anyway to try to give her baby a life.

Rawlings gave interviews about the experience and said that her thinking was only about her unborn baby. “My decision was about [him] and [him] only,” she said in an interview with Femail, a division of Daily Mail. When the time for the delivery came near, it was discovered that Rawlings had contracted a blood infection. This would complicate things and mean that the delivery would have to be even sooner than expected.

To deal with the issue, doctors decided to do a caesarian section to get the baby out—and they were successful!

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At that moment, Rawlings’ son, Kyden, was born.

Although both were in shaky health, the baby had been delivered successfully and Rawlings was able to spend time with him. Unfortunately, the blood infection that she had during her pregnancy was also passed onto her son. At the time, Rawlings gave interviews about how happy she was to spend time with her son. Although Kyden was only alive on Earth for 12 days, Rawlings said that they were “the best 12 days of [her] life.” After he passed away, she even got a sudden boost in her condition.

Unfortunately, her recovery was about to take another turn as well.

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Although things looked positive for Rawlings after giving birth, it quickly became clear that her condition was worsening once again.

Though her brother offered to donate some of his bone marrow to help her sister recover, it was rejected by the medics. Instead, the doctors recommended that she undergo an expensive drug trial to help save her life—but it would cost approximately $2,100 every three weeks. Needless to say, her family wanted to try anything they could, and started a GoFundMe to help raise the money.

Though they made it through a few injections of the drug, Rawlings passed away before the treatment could be completed.

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After her passing, Rawlings’ sister Kourt posted a tribute to her late sister on the GoFundMe’s page.

Although everyone was heartbroken, Kourt’s message was beautiful and heartfelt:

“🌌🌠29th Dec around 9pm – surrounded by many broken hearts – Our Beautiful Brianna reached the end of her journey with us here on earth and was finally reunited with her Baby Bear Kyden.🌻
🌠🌌We are absolutely broken but at the same time at peace knowing she is no longer in pain , no longer in pieces and unsure of what news was to come next.
🌌🌠We love you more than the stars beautiful girl, fly high and please guide those who are unsure of how to be on this earth without your contagious smile.”

Since everything happened, the Rawlings’ story has spread all over the world.

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Although Rawlings’ sacrifice was an incredible one, it’s clear that she wouldn’t have done anything differently—and her actions have inspired the world.

Because of the attention her case has drawn, doctors are studying Brianna’s case in efforts to make strides in treatment and to better understand rare cancers like the one she had. Although this story is definitely tragic, it also speaks to the strength of the human spirit and how one story can inspire the whole world. For her part, Rawlings had advice for anyone going through what she went through as well:

“To anyone out there fighting anything like this and is reading this, keep positive, stay strong, and surround yourself with supportive people, keep away from any kind of negativity, cherish the good days and fight the bad days. Be grateful for what you have in front of you.”

Our hearts go out to the Rawlings family in their difficult time.

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Sources: 12 Tomatoes, Daily Mail, Facebook (1, 2)