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Mom says son went through rare cancer twice before his first birthday

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An Australian mother has revealed how her son had to battle cancer twice before his first birthday – after seeing huge bruises and bumps on his skin.

Natasha Lucas, 27, of Sydney, NSW, gave birth to son Ashton on November 17, 2020, but it soon became apparent that something was very wrong.

Biopsy results confirmed that her son had congenital acute myeloid leukemia (AML) – a type of rare cancer.

With her and her husband Nathan Lucas, 28, their world instantly collapsed.

“I never fight mental demons like I did in those days,” Natasha told NeedToKnow.Online.

Natasha Lucas, 27, of Sydney, NSW, gave birth to son Ashton on November 17, 2020, but it soon became apparent that something was very wrong

Biopsy results confirmed her baby son had congenital acute myeloid leukemia (AML) - a rare cancer

Biopsy results confirmed her baby son had congenital acute myeloid leukemia (AML) – a rare cancer

“I was constantly crying myself to sleep. I missed my oldest son at home while I was in the hospital with Ashton.

“My biggest fear was that my son wouldn’t make it or that his big brother Levi, who was three at the time, would never be able to meet him.

“I was afraid that I would never be able to hold him, that I would lose him before me.

“I also had a huge fear that the chemo would do more harm than good. I could have let my son suffer and I wouldn’t have known.’

Natasha first noticed something was wrong when she stopped feeling Ashton moving in her belly while she was 36 weeks pregnant.

Although she was reportedly told that she and the baby were doing well, the hospital decided to keep her in for the night and the next day decided to perform an emergency cesarean section.

Although she was reportedly told that she and the baby were doing well, the hospital decided to keep her in for the night and the next day decided to perform an emergency cesarean section.

“When Ashton was born, the medical team was silent.  They immediately took him to the neonatal intensive care unit,

“When Ashton was born, the medical team was silent. They immediately took him to the neonatal intensive care unit,” she said

Although she was reportedly told that she and the baby were doing well, the hospital decided to keep her in for the night and the next day she decided to perform an emergency cesarean section.

“When Ashton was born, the medical team was silent. They immediately took him to the neonatal intensive care unit,’ she said.

“He needed oxygen help and they saw bruises all over his body and some lumps. He remained in the NICU, hooked up to machines and oxygen.

“He hadn’t opened his eyes and we hadn’t even had a chance to cuddle with our little boy.”

Five days later, doctors shared the terrible news and told the mother that her son would need chemotherapy right away.

AML is a rare blood cancer that affects only one in five million babies, according to the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.

Five days later, the doctors shared the terrible news and told the mother that her son would need chemotherapy right away

Five days later, the doctors shared the terrible news and told the mother that her son would need chemotherapy right away

The little one then underwent four grueling rounds of chemotherapy (pictured with his older brother at birth)

The little one then underwent four grueling rounds of chemotherapy (pictured with his older brother at birth)

The little one then underwent four grueling rounds of chemotherapy.

“It was horrible. It was cruel that this happened. I wish I could have traded places with him because it was so heartbreaking.

“I felt like it was an endless struggle with ups and downs. But just two days after chemo when Ashton was seven days old, he looked at me.

“He looked me in the eye – and people will think I’m crazy – but I can swear on anything, he looked me in the eye and [I felt as though he] said, “I have this mother – I’ll be fine.”‘

After more than 30 doses of chemotherapy, baby Ashton went into remission in April 2020 and was finally able to go home for good.

Tragically, he relapsed just three months later.

Natasha found a lump on his head, which at first looked like a clogged hair follicle, but when more came up, she rushed him to the doctor.

After more than 30 doses of chemotherapy, baby Ashton went into remission in April 2020 and was finally able to go home for good

After more than 30 doses of chemotherapy, baby Ashton went into remission in April 2020 and was finally able to go home for good

“The oncologist advised they wanted to see Nathan and I right away, then I knew,” she said.

Nathan was at work and I called him in tears, sobbing that it hadn’t been confirmed, but repeated the call.

“I locked myself in the bathroom, curled up into a ball on the cold tiles and couldn’t help but cry and ask loudly why.”

This time, Ashton would need a life-saving bone marrow transplant, as well as more chemotherapy.

“It was a terrible time leading up to the transplant. We were emotionally and physically exhausted and exhausted. We wanted our little boy to be okay as a family, safe and at home in our arms,” ​​she said.

“We used to cry leading up to the transplant, during the transplant, and even to this day when we think about it.

This time, Ashton would need a life-saving bone marrow transplant, as well as more chemotherapy

This time, Ashton would need a life-saving bone marrow transplant, as well as more chemotherapy

“But the happiness and gratitude surpassed the discouraging emotions, knowing that our son had been given a lifeline, thanks to his selfless anonymous donor.

“Our son had a fighting chance, we knew he would get through it and live a long and happy life.”

On November 23, 2021, Ashton received his miraculous bone marrow transplant from an anonymous donor in Europe and the surgery was a success.

He is now about to celebrate his second birthday and things are going ‘very well’.

The toddler still needs checkups every two months, but still shows no signs of leukemia cells.

The toddler still needs regular checkups every two months, but still shows no signs of leukemia cells

The toddler still needs regular checkups every two months, but still shows no signs of leukemia cells

“Ashton went to kindergarten last month and it was the first time he was around people and interacting with other kids, he loved it,” Natasha said.

“He’s the happiest boy you’ll ever meet, considering everything he’s been through.”

Natasha now hopes to raise awareness about the disease and help other families who may be going through something similar.

“While rare, Ashton’s story deserves to be heard to give hope and show that cancer can end on a positive note, no matter how horrible the journey may be.

“We want people to know that they are never alone on this journey.”

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