Mother of 6 refused to terminate pregnancy after cancer diagnosis

(Photo: Acelya Aksunkur)

A Colorado woman received great news earlier this month when she found out that both she and her baby are in good health despite a cancer diagnosis early on in her pregnancy.

Heather Choate was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 10th week of pregnancy, and made the tough decision to undergo chemotherapy and surgery before she delivered. 

Doctors told Choate that she should terminate the pregnancy, but she said she'd rather die.

The wife and then-mother of five wanted to fight for her life and the life of her unborn child, and sought treatment from breastfeeding cancer expert Dr Virginia Borges at the University of Colorado Hospital. 

The Choates' sixth child, Kiery Celeste, was born healthy on January 6. Weeks later, the family gathered to receive an update on Heather's condition.

"The scans are perfect," Dr Borges told them. Heather, 29, is cancer-free. 

"I just got tears really in my eyes because that means we've done it — we have a baby here and things are looking good," Heather said. 

On New Year's Eve, a woman who  postponed chemotherapy to protect the life of her unborn child passed away. 

Kathy Taylor, 34, was diagnosed with melanoma when she was 26-weeks pregnant, and prolonged delivery and treatment as the cancer spread inside of her.

The Utah wife and mother of five was given only days to live when she was diagnosed in late August. When her liver began to fail, doctors were forced to deliver baby Luke on September 11.

Born 14 weeks early, Luke weighed just one pound and 15 ounces. Kathy was expected to pass away one day after the delivery, but held on to hold her son. Her sixth child died on September 27 from an infection.

Kathy continued to beat doctor's expectations and lived months longer than expected. Her husband, Nathan, wrote on Facebook that New Year's Eve will always be a celebration of Kathy's life.

"I love you Kathy," he posted on his family's blog. "I hope you know that. Woman of unwavering faith."