Beautiful and humbling, via CNA:
Jessica Hanna, a mother of four, was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer when she was 14 weeks pregnant. Several doctors advised her to have an abortion but she declined, choosing life instead.
In an interview with EWTN Pro-Life Weekly on Sept. 1, she described how this pregnancy was very different than her previous three saying, “This was God calling me to something so big.”
Before getting pregnant, Hanna had noticed a dent in her breast. Doctors misdiagnosed it saying it was benign. Two weeks later she found out she was pregnant. At her first OB-GYN appointment she had doctors look at it again. It then became evident she had breast cancer. Initially, doctors thought it was a small, stage 1 tumor. However, after undergoing surgery, she was told the tumor was 13 centimeters, and stage 4 — meaning the cancer likely was terminal.
A passionate pro-life advocate who openly shared her beliefs online and with the people in her life, Hanna explained how her pregnancy pushed her to truly live out her strongly held beliefs.
“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?” she said. “And now it’s time for me to walk the walk.’”
A devout Catholic, Hanna turned to her faith to help get her through the difficult times. After each chemotherapy treatment she prayed at the tomb of Blessed Father Solanus Casey, a soon-to-be saint whose body is buried in Detroit, her hometown.
“I prayed at his tomb for me to be miraculously healed and for my son to come out beautiful and healthy,” she recalled.
Another saint she turned to was St. Gianna Beretta Molla. St. Gianna was also diagnosed with a life-threatening illness while pregnant. Hanna explained that, similar to St. Gianna, she chose to do some treatment during pregnancy that wouldn’t endanger her baby.
“Many people are not aware chemotherapy can be actually quite safe during pregnancy,” Hanna explained. “I chose the middle road that I would do some chemotherapy with some modifications, and she was a big inspiration for me.”