A Brave Heart: Inspiring Story Of Woman Fighting Cancer Even After Losing Her Son Because Of Her Battle

Cancer always leaves behind tales of untold pain and countless hospital stays. When you add the loss of a child to that, the trauma is all the more agonizing. This can also be the summary of Brianna Rawlings’ battle with aggressive NK-cell leukemia.

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What is NK-cell leukemia?

The immune system fights against diseases using lymphocytes, also known as natural killers (NK). This means that NK-cell Leukemia is a type of cancer that attacks the body’s natural killers.

A Brave Heart: Inspiring Story Of Woman Fighting Cancer Even After Losing Her Son Because Of Her BattlePhotographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

It occurs more commonly in Asians, Central and South Americans. Common symptoms of NK-cell leukemia are night sweats, reduced number of healthy blood cells, severe weight loss, unusually large liver and/or spleen, and lymph nodes. It is usually treated with chemotherapy, and, in some cases, it may be paired with a stem cell transplant.

This illness can occur in two ways: aggressive and chronic.

Aggressive NK-cell leukemia (ANKL) is a very rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that causes the body to produce more NK cells than normal. It is grouped with T-cell lymphomas. The chronic variation is easier to treat, but Brianna is unfortunately is afflicted with the former.

Brianna Rawlings’ Story

Brianna Rawlings, aged 18, and her fiancé were expecting their first son when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of NK-cell leukemia in the 17th week of her pregnancy.

In spite of the knowledge that keeping the pregnancy to full term gave her a 50-50 chance of survival, she pushed on.

The course of treatment mapped out by her doctors included mild chemotherapy with the intention to take it up a notch after the baby was delivered in the 28th week.

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Unfortunately, Brianna contracted an infection, so the doctors insisted on immediate delivery to avoid a mother-child transmission.

Kyden was born two weeks shy of the planned date. He seemed fine until 12 days later, when he died from a stomach infection. The news broke the young parents.

Another silver lining snatched from Briana was that her bone marrow surgery, whose donor was her brother, had to be canceled due to her lousy state.

However, things were looking up again with the hope of a new treatment.

Sadly, it will cost $3,000 on a fortnight basis. With this turn of events, efforts are being made to raise funds. Her uncle set up a raffle where the winner walks away with $1;000. The raffle tickets have sold out.

Despite the numerous uncertainties, Brianna has done her best to remain strong and positive. We believe this is the definition of bravery.

Meanwhile, support has been flooding in from Facebook, with some going as far as openly making donations.

Preventing NK-cell leukemia

The cause of this type of cancer is unknown, but certain precautions can be taken to avoid it.

  • Avoid smoking;
  • Eat healthily and exercise regularly;
  • Avoid exposure to chemicals;

A Brave Heart: Inspiring Story Of Woman Fighting Cancer Even After Losing Her Son Because Of Her BattlePhotographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

  • In cases of family history with cancer, genetic testing is advised;
  • Infections should be treated properly.

In the event of a previous occurrence of this disease, all forms of treatments and drugs administered should be well-documented.

We hope Brianna keeps the torch of her courage burning as she inspires thousands across the globe to fight and never give up.

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