Jennifer's best ever Christmas cuddle
'My kids give me strength to fight even harder'
It was the Christmas present all the money in the world could not buy.
Jennifer Doolabh, the brave Hamilton mum who stopped cancer treatment when she found out she was pregnant, was finally allowed to hold her precious wee boy in her arms today.
Little Matthias - whose name means God's gift in Hebrew - was born on December 23.
Delivered at 34 weeks and with mum in the High Dependency Unit at Waikato Hopsital, there had been little chance for Jennifer and her son to catch up - until now.
In this touching photograph posted to her Facebook page 'My Name is Jennifer and I Have Cancer', the proud mum said Matthias was "doing amazing".
"He's now out of the incubator in his own cot the nurses are amazed how well he's doing definitely acting more advanced then a 34 weeker!!," she posted.
But it is a bittersweet time for the Doolabh family, who face the grim reality that this Christmas may be Mrs Doolabh'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 spent Christmas together - in the hospital.
On Christmas Day Jennifer posted this message:
"Even tho I'm stuck paralysed in bed in HDU away from my beautiful kids and family on Xmas day.. I'm so happy and have so many things to be thankful for!!
"Thank you lord for all the blessings you have given me and my family with out your help I would not be here today.
"We are so happy and blessed thank you everyone for all the prayers keep up the good work because the fight for life continues!! My kids give me strength to fight even harder mummy loves you all.. merry Xmas to all."
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.
- © Fairfax NZ News