This is Erin Hopkins with a very urgent and sincere request for prayers. My friend and one-time college roommate is battling brain cancer and has been receiving chemo and radiation for nearly one year. Stacey is a mother to two young children and a wife to Joey, they live in Atlanta. She just found out that she is 18 weeks pregnant. She became pregnant during her chemo and radiation and therefore, the baby has been exposed to these chemicals from day one. She has opted to take a 10 week break from her treatment to allow the baby to reach 28 weeks gestation, when they will deliver the baby via C-section. She has been informed by her baby-related doctors that the chemo is very strong and particularly attacks DNA growth in cells and therefore the baby. They are quite certain that there will be neurologic damage to the baby, although the ultrasounds have thus far showed relatively normal growth.
Additionally, her cancer-related doctors have told her that they do not want her to stop her treatment of cancer (even for 10 wks!) because her cancer is so aggressive. They said that if they allowed her to carry the baby to 40 weeks gestation, she would probably not live to deliver the baby. So, Stacey is choosing to give her child a chance and risk her own life. I still cannot believe the situation that this family has been put in, even as I type this. As a member of Stacey's network of support and prayers, I am asking that you specifically say a prayer to Pope John Paul II. He is in the process of being named a saint and needs a second miracle to "qualify" for sainthood. We have decided to storm heaven with prayers to our former Pope, specifically asking him to stop the growth of Stacey's cancer while she stops her treatment.
Erin, you have the prayers of the Velasquez family.
Many of you may also be calling to mind the story of St. Gianna Molla, whom JPII canonized in the 1994, whose story is very similar to Stacey's. Finally, I just want to thank you for having read this far. I appreciate the time you took to read this and say a prayer for Stacey, her unborn child and her family. Stacey herself asks that we be sure to pray for her husband, Joey who is truly heartbroken.