Baby born to cancer mum in time for Christmas
ANGELA CUMING AND HARRY PEARL
Jennifer Doolabh, the Hamilton mum who stopped cancer treatment when she found out she was pregnant, has given birth to a healthy baby boy.
Little Matthias - which means God's gift in Hebrew - was born yesterday at 34 weeks and weighed in at 2.27 kilograms.
In a touching message posted on her Facebook page "My Name is Jennifer and I Have Cancer" - the proud mum said her wee boy was doing well.
"Welcome to the world Matthias, its been a hard road but well worth it big boy 5 pounds at 34 weeks mummy loves you xoxo."
It is a bittersweet time for the Doolabh family who face the grim reality that this Christmas may be Jennifer's first - and last - with her new son.
In June 2012 the then-mother of two was diagnosed with breast cancer and she struggled through a year of gruelling chemotherapy and radiation.
In June this year, while enduring another bout of radiation treatment and preparing for hormone therapy, she was told her and husband Aneal were expecting their first child together.
"It was a shock," she said.
"We just thought I couldn't get pregnant and they were just about to suppress my ovaries. I was about to go on other treatment as well."
So instead, she stopped treatment in order to give her baby a better chance of survival.
The family will have Christmas together - in the hospital.
Understandably, Christmas this year has been tough emotionally and financially.
Since she became unable to work, the family have relied solely on her husband's income, which has been a struggle. "We've only had enough money for our bills," Jennifer said.
Harder still has been preparing her children for when she is gone.
"We made some videos and things like that," she says.
"That was hard, saying goodbye."
Her 10-year-old son Te Waraki understands, but her 5-year-old daughter Bailey doesn't, she says.
"She thinks death is temporary."
And then there is Matthias.
Despite knowing she will not be there to support her son, she says she is not worried: "His father is amazing. He'll have lots of support, so he'll be fine."
People can donate to Jennifer and her family by texting 833. A text will take $3 from each phone account and deposit it with Gallagher Family Hospice. Or they can contact Sharyn Cawood on 021 424 579.
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- Waikato Times
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