PARENTING
02/01/2012 06:31 pm ET Updated Feb 08, 2012

Madeleine Telfer, Cancer Survivor, Celebrates Her Miracle Baby

Miracles do happen and 21-year-old Madeleine Telfer is living proof. The Scottish woman beat cancer twice, but doctors told her the treatment left her infertile. Now, Telfer has defied all odds; she got pregnant, gave birth and is celebrating every day of her two-month-old son's little life, the Scottish Daily Record reports.

"All I ever wanted was a family. It's something I've dreamed of since I was a wee girl," she told the paper.

In August 2008, Telfer began to feel sick. Her parents took her to the hospital because of a swollen gland and a biopsy revealed she had cancer -- Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Starting the next January, in 2009, she underwent chemotherapy every two weeks for six months. The process was painful, she told the Record, but in August 2009, she went into remission and was able to return to her normal life.

When the cancer came back, the following year, "she was rushed into 'salvage chemotherapy' and endured three grueling 90 hour sessions in isolation." After that, she didn't know if she'd be healthy, but was feeling better. She went out for drinks with friends one night and met her partner Stephen. By May 2010, the couple was happy to hear from doctors that she was indeed cancer free. But their dreams of having a family were crushed -- or so they thought.

According to the American Cancer Society, "it is hard to predict how many women will stay fertile after chemo since the woman's age, the types of drugs she gets, and her drug dose all make a big difference." But Dr. Drew Tortoriello, medical director for the Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine estimates that "nearly 50 percent of women lose their ability to have children a few months after chemotherapy and radiation."

Telfer's doctors told her pregnancy wouldn't be in her future. "Of course, losing your fertility is a small price to pay to save your life, but I was devastated," she said.

And then two years later, she found out she was pregnant and gave birth to Harris on November 27, 2011.

"Life is now just fantastic. I couldn't be happier. He is a little miracle," she said.

The happy couple is now trying for their second.


For the whole story, click over to the Daily Record.

Clarification: While Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia are not synonymous, multiple reports have used both terms, and it is unclear which specific form of cancer Telfer had.

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