A seven-year-old girl who was conceived shortly after her mum was treated for cancer has signed a giant ‘Thank You’ card.
Evie Pearce and her mum Amanda, 45, from Bewbush, signed the card as part of the launch of Cancer Research UK’s summer campaign.
Amanda had been trying to have a child for five years when was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
She said: “Lo and behold two months after my last course of treatment I found out I was pregnant with Evie.
“We are saying thank you today to the doctors and the nurses for all the nurses for all the medicines that we were given so that we could have Evie and that she’s here with us today.”
Amanda was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at East Surrey Hospital after she noticed a lump in her neck nine years ago.
Amanda said: “It was a huge shock when I was told I had cancer.
“I’d been trying to have a baby for five years with my partner Simon and I was about to have some fertility tests but all that had to go on hold as the main priority was treating the cancer.”
Amanda was told her disease was 90 per cent survivable and tried to stay positive.
She had her thyroid gland removed. She stayed in an isolation unit at St Luke’s Hospital in Guildford in week-long stints.
Amanda’s son, Joseph, now 20, supported her throughout her treatment and joined her in Relay for Life events in the area.
She said: “After I finished my treatment I just wanted to get away so my best friend and I went on holiday together. It was while I was away that I realised I might be pregnant. I bought a test and I couldn’t believe it when it was positive.
“I feel that perhaps the reason I couldn’t get pregnant for so long was my body’s way of telling me that something was wrong.”
As soon as she got home Amanda told her consultant what had happened.
She said: “They were really surprised. Generally people who are treated for thyroid cancer tend to be quite a bit older so it was very unusual. They checked my dates and reassured me that it was unlikely the baby had been conceived while I was still radioactive.
“Throughout my pregnancy I tried really hard not to worry about whether the baby would be affected by my treatment at all. I did have additional scans because of it but fortunately everything went okay. When Evie arrived she was a beautiful healthy baby girl.”
Amanda’s father died of bowel cancer in March.
Amanda said: “He did so well and thanks to the treatment he received he got to spend four more years with his granddaughter who was his pride and joy. Research is so important because it provided the treatment that helped me beat cancer and gave dad precious extra years.
“When you are diagnosed with any type of cancer what is important to you completely changes. Things that used to worry me are no longer important. My main priority has to be my family.
“I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped fund Cancer Research UK’s doctors, nurses and scientists so they can carry out this vital work. That’s why Evie and I are backing Cancer Research UK’s campaign. We want the chance to say ‘thank you’ and encourage everyone in Sussex to join the fight against cancer.”
Evie and Amanda’s personal messages on the card will on display at the charity’s shop in East Street, Horsham, from August 20.
Evie goes to Gossops Green Community Primary School. She enjoys ballet and playing on her trampoline.
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