Chantal Gauthier-Vaillancourt, a pregnant cancer stricken woman suffering a a rare eye cancer recently opted to have her right eye removed rather than run the risk of the disease affecting her unborn child.
A popular midwife in Edmonton, CA, who has helped deliver hundreds of babies, Chantal Gauthier-Vaillancourt underwent surgery this past Wednesday to remove her right eye after learning that there was a chance the cancer could spread to the placenta.
The operation was successful and both Gauthier-Vaillancourt and the baby are recovering well, friends told local media outlets.
Gauthier-Vaillancourt was first diagnosed with the rare disease in 2009.
Told the mother via Global News: ‘It was a malignant melanoma in my right eye that could spread to the liver and the bones.’
At first the mother to be tried natural therapy and then underwent radiation in an effort to beat the cancer. By the end, doctors told her that she was in remission, but that she and her husband should wait to get pregnant, which they did.
Five years after finding out she was in remission, Gauthier-Vaillancourt found out she was pregnant.
But there was trouble up ahead…
Told the mother: ‘We were really excited about that,’
‘About two weeks later I went for my regular checkup and it was then that we discovered that the tumor had grown substantially in a very short period of time.’
Doctors would tell Gauthier-Vaillancourt that there was about a 25 percent chance that her cancer could spread to her placenta. But the options she and her husband had to consider were not good.
‘Abortion, radiation, surgery [to remove the tumour]: none of those seemed appropriate for us,’ says Gauthier-Vaillancourt, who knew if the surgery caused premature birth her child would not survive. Which is how in the end the mother elected to remove her right eye where the tumor was sprouting.
A fundraiser website has since been setup to cover the costs of some of the natural therapies Gauthier-Vaillancourt has undergone, which aren’t covered under her provincial health insurance plan. So far, at time of press, the fundraiser has raised more than $21,247.
Gauthier-Vaillancourt says she is appreciative of all the support from her friends and family and has come to take a matter of fact attitude:
‘It’s been a rough tide, but at the same time, I mean, everyone has problems and I honestly feel it’s just another bump in the road,’
‘I keep saying, ‘This baby chose me, chose this situation and is very strong.’’
Chantal is scheduled to give birth at the end of August.