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NOVA SCOTIA, June 29, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The story of a Canadian mother who declined to abort her baby girl while battling cancer is receiving attention after she was nominated by her young daughter for Walmart’s 2012 ‘Mom of the Year’ award.

“My mom is absolutely amazing, always putting us first while encouraging others with her story, positive attitude and being an example of God’s love,” wrote daughter Jocelyn Pitman on Walmart’s tribute page to her mother Maria.

In May 2011, Maria Pitman was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant with her seventh child, according to her daughter’s nomination submission.

“After refusing to abort the baby she underwent a full mastectomy at 20 weeks pregnant. While still being pregnant, she went through 3 chemo treatments, all while taking care of my 5 brothers and I and homeschooling 4 of us.

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“In September Mom delivered a perfectly healthy baby girl at 36 weeks.

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“After a short recovery she went through 3 more chemo treatments and 25 radiation treatments 3 hours away from our home, keeping us together and life as normal as possible this entire time.

“We are blessed to have her, now cancer free and my little sister is perfectly healthy.”

Walmart says that the ‘Mom of the Year’ award is a “celebration of the 9.2 million Canadian Moms who work tirelessly every day to provide for their family,” adding that the initiative is a “way for all of us to recognize the Moms in our lives for everything they do.”

The winning mother will be honored with a “special red carpet gala in Toronto”, followed by a “photo shoot and a day of pampering”, ending with a $10,000 prize to be pocketed by the mother and a $100,000 donation to be given to a charity or cause of her choice.

The competition is still running, with entries being accepted until July 8. Competition judges will evaluate all eligible submissions to choose fifty moms who have had a “positive impact on others in their life, their family’s life, their community or the environment”, who have “helped … others to live better”, and whose “positive impact was ‘extraordinary’”. Judges will then choose eight moms from the fifty who best exemplify the competition’s threefold criteria. From these eight, judges will choose a final winner

Pitman already has an exuberant following on her tribute page.

“You are one of the most amazing, encouraging, loving women I have ever known,” wrote a friend. “Your living testimony is one to inspire others to put faith/family/friends first.”

Another wrote that Maria is “one of the most true, loving and sincere women and mothers, I have ever known. You are truly an inspiration to everyone. I think you deserve the mom of the year award for the next 100 years.”

One fan said that Maria is “someone who is always concerned [about her] children and others before [her]self. Even through battling cancer [she] would always ask how I was doing never drawing attention to [her]self.”

Heather Haase, an intimate friend of the nominated mother, believes that Maria’s story of “declining an abortion and putting the health of her unborn baby before her own” is one of “complete unselfish love”.

Haase noted that the cancer-free Mom is now racing with her 9-month-old daughter Johannah to see “who can grow hair first”.

Editor’s note: Walmart invites fans to “show some love for Maria” at her tribute page.

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