A Detroit, Michigan pro-life advocate refused to give up hope when she found out she had terminal breast cancer while pregnant with her youngest son.
Jessica Hanna told EWTN News that she has been passionate about the pro-life issue ever since she was young, and her pregnancy last year challenged her to put her beliefs into action.
“It was just a journey of, ‘Wow. Now you’ve talked the talk, the pro-life talk. Now, you’ve become the woman everybody uses in their arguments: What if the woman’s life is in danger?’” Hanna said. “And now it’s time for me to walk the walk.”
Even though several doctors advised her to have an abortion, Hanna chose life. A Catholic, she prayed – and asked people on social media to pray, too – and eventually was healed of cancer, according to the report.
Before getting pregnant with her son, Hanna said she noticed a dent in her breast and went to the doctor. However, the doctor misdiagnosed it, saying the abnormality was benign, according to the report.
Less then a month went by and Hanna discovered she was pregnant. At an appointment with her OB-GYN, she said she asked the doctor to look at the dent again and the doctor determined that it was cancerous.
At 14 weeks of pregnancy, Hanna said she learned that she likely had terminal cancer; her tumor was 13 centimeters and doctors believed the cancer probably was spreading to other parts of her body. She said she sought opinions from approximately 10 different doctors, and more than one advised her to have an abortion.
But “it was not necessary at all. My prognosis didn’t change. My treatment plan did not change — pregnant or not pregnant,” she continued. “Many people are not aware chemotherapy can be actually quite safe during pregnancy. I chose the middle road that I would do some chemotherapy with some modifications …”
While she underwent chemotherapy, Hanna prayed for healing regularly at the tomb of Blessed Father Solanus Casey, according to EWTN. She and her husband later named their son Thomas Solanus after him.
“I prayed at his tomb for me to be miraculously healed and for my son to come out beautiful and healthy,” she said.
Hoping to encourage others struggling with difficult pregnancies, Hanna also set up a social media page to share her story and ask people to pray.
“I thought no suffering should ever go to waste,” Hanna told EWTN. “I don’t know where God is taking me. Is he going to take me to the path where I need to show people how to die gracefully, with his grace and mercy? Or is he going to show a miracle?”
Hanna gave birth to a healthy baby boy – the first miracle. Then, doctors discovered that the chemotherapy had worked, and she was in remission – another miracle, she told EWTN.
And if not for her son, Thomas, Hanna said she might not be alive.
“He’s the one that actually saved my life because if it wasn’t for me getting pregnant, I wouldn’t have double checked it,” she continued.
Hanna encouraged women who are struggling to trust in God and remember that they are not alone, because Christ also suffered. By sharing her story, she said she hopes to encourage others to hope in times of trouble.
“I decided to use the social media that no matter what you think is going to happen, it’s trust in God that is the most important … That you are going to abandon your own desires and wants and you’re going to leave it at the foot of the cross and let him take care of it,” she said.
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