A Canadian woman stricken with ocular cancer is choosing to do something incredibly selfless to protect the health of her unborn child: she’s giving up one of her eyes.
Chantal Gauthier-Vaillancourt, a well-respected midwife, has decided to undergo surgery to remove her right eye in an effort to prevent the disease from reaching her placenta.
This isn’t Gauthier-Vaillancourt’s first battle with cancer. In fact, she was first diagnosed with malignant melanoma in her right eye in 2009.
And after using natural treatments and radiation, she ended up in remission, complying with doctors’ recommendations that she wait five years before conceiving, according to Canada’s Global News.
“We were told to wait to get pregnant, which is what we did, and it worked out fairly well,” she said.
Gauthier-Vaillancourt and her husband were naturally overjoyed when they recently found out they were pregnant. But only two weeks later, they were in for a shock when doctors found that the tumor had returned.
Gauthier-Vaillancourt was faced with three tough choices: abort, seek radiation or have surgery. With none of these choices seeming like viable options, she opted to start natural therapies to battle the disease while the baby grew strong enough to withstand surgery.
At the time there was only a 25 percent chance that the cancer would spread to the placenta, but those odds have now dramatically changed, according to Global News.
With the cancer now holding a 70 percent chance of reaching the placenta, Gauthier-Vaillancourt, who is 28 weeks pregnant, has decided to have her eye surgically removed next week.
Meanwhile, friends and family are raising funds to help her pay for the natural treatments insurance didn’t cover.
Despite her challenges, the woman remains remarkably positive about her experience — and the sacrifice she’s so willingly chosen to make.
“It’s been a rough [ride], but at the same time, I mean, everyone has problems and I honestly feel it’s just another bump in the road,” she told Global News. “I keep saying, ‘This baby chose me, chose this situation and is very strong.’”