Meaghen Hale


Mom who beat cancer after delaying treatment to give birth: ‘I feel like we’ve won the lottery’

Meaghen Hale

August 29, 2012 ( – Richard and Jo Powell tried for years to have a baby. Finally, in 2010, Jo became pregnant – only to be advised days later to have an abortion after a lump was discovered in her breast. It was cancer.

Doctors would not perform chemotherapy so early in the pregnancy. They warned that pregnancy itself aggravated the cancer, producing hormones that would help the tumors grow faster. The longer Jo waited, the more her life was at risk, they said, and she would have to wait nearly six months.

But the longer she waited, the greater the chances her baby would survive.

“I knew we couldn’t give up on our baby,” Jo told the Daily Mail recently. “There was no way I was going to sacrifice him to save myself.”

“We had been trying for a baby for years, and we were convinced it wasn’t going to happen for us. So Jake was so special. I knew that even if I didn’t make it, I would have brought a life into the world.”


Jo immediately underwent an operation to remove the tumors on her lymph nodes.

“After the operation, they scanned my tummy and I could hear Jake’s little heartbeat,” she said. “I knew then I was doing the right thing.”

At five months, Jo began to receive small doses of chemotherapy. Jake was born, perfectly healthy, in December 2010. But immediately afterwards, Jo underwent a mastectomy—and began fighting for her life.

Now, incredibly, Jo has been told she needs no further treatment. She has beaten cancer.

“I feel like we’ve won the lottery,” she said. “Jake is such a happy little boy. He is so bright and cheery. I look at him now and I know the hell we went through for him was worth it.”

“We’re just thrilled that we can finally be a happy, healthy family after all we’ve been through.”

Read more at the Daily Mail here.

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