Mum’s wish to see daughter’s first day at school after 11-year cancer fight

A mum who fought cancer while she was pregnant despite being told she could never have a baby is desperate to see her little girl’s first day at school.

Emma Thompson, 42, defied all odds to give birth to little Emily, now two, but her time could be running out.

She was diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer in 2007 aged 31, putting her plans to get married on hold.

Cathie Turner, her older sister, told Essex Live : "Emma could be told any day that the current treatment isn’t working, and options are limited.

"There is so much I could say about my amazing, beautiful sister as she has been battling this cruel disease for years now.

"She wants to create memories for Emily. They have such a lovely bond and you can see that when they are together."

After undergoing invasive chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, she was told the treatment would probably make her infertile.

She married her partner in 2009 and a few years later, whilst on holiday with family in Portugal, she felt a lump under her arm.

Although she tried to stay positive she knew that the cancer had come back, this time in her lymph nodes.

Emma began the next rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which ended in 2013.

Cathie said: "Emma does everything for everybody else, she will not talk about her feeling or pain she might be in.

"She is not someone to lay in bed.

"She is such a beautiful person who worries about everyone else and how it impacts them."

She was offered the opportunity to store some of her embryos, but this wasn’t possible because of the previous chemotherapy and the fact she was experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Then one day, in March 2015, Emma, from Rayleigh, woke up with sore breasts and decided to take a pregnancy test – which came back positive.

Within a few weeks of finding out she was pregnant, she suffered from severe back ache and chronic fatigue, but put it down to carrying a baby at the age of 39.

In June 2015, she was admitted to A&E with pain which meant she couldn’t move or walk, and was told the devastating news that cancer had returned for a third time.

The consultant advised her to terminate the pregnancy, but her and her husband decided they wanted to meet their little girl, despite the fact she had metastases to her liver and spine.

She underwent specialist treatment to ensure her chemotherapy, tests and scans would not harm her baby, and Emily was born by cesarean on October 29, 2015 weighing 5lb and 11oz.

Although Emily was born premature, she was out of hospital within the week and home with her parents.

Emma was told she had only months to live whilst she was carrying her, but she defied this.

She was then told she was likely to live for six months and be ‘extremely lucky’ if she lived for another two to three years.

Three years on and the situation is the same, her cancer is treatable but not curable.

The consultant no longer tells her where the cancer has spread in her body, but Emma, who is in constant pain, is aware it has moved to her pelvic area and ribs.

Emily is now two-and-a-half-years-old and her family are trying to raise money for her to try other treatments.

A blood test costing £3,000 could help her fight the disease.

Cathie said: "For Emma, it is about wanting to spend more time with Emily, to make those memories so she can remember her mum and not rely on what other people have told her, that is our goal.

"First, we were trying to get Emma through the pregnancy, then making sure she was getting her to Emily’s first birthday, next one was the second birthday.

"Now Emma wants to get to see her go to school.

"We do believe, as a family, Emma would have given up a lot sooner if it hadn’t been for Emily.

"We are sure the determination and the strength of seeing Emily each day encourages her and motivates her to get out of bed each day, which has a lot to do with her mind and will to survive."

A GoFundMe page was set up by Emma’s family hoping to raise money for alternative treatment.

The family wrote on the fundraising page: "Emma and her husband live their life from consultant appointment to scans and are unable to make any firm plans as no one can tell them how long Emma has with us."

They want to access possible future treatment and tests that are not available on the NHS so the family can make beautiful memories with the limited and unknown length of time they have together.

  • To donate to Emma’s fundraising page and help to reach their goal, click here .

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