Dad with Cancer Moves From ICU to Delivery Room for Son’s Birth



Birth stories are always emotional (because birth is emotional) but this one is especially moving–and will simultaneously break and warm your heart all at once. Earlier this month, Colorado birth photographer and videographer Sarah Boccolucci was able to document the birth of baby Levon, the son of Jessica Li and her fiancé Cagney Wenk.

The reason why this experience is particularly powerful is because both father and son were at the hospital at the same time–as patients. Cagney had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive, stage four cancer just three weeks before Jessica’s due date. He has been receiving treatment in the same hospital where the birth of their son took place.

Since his diagnosis, Cagney has undergone a biopsy and craniotomy, a surgical procedure in which part of the skull was temporarily removed to relieve pressure–as well as radiation and chemotherapy. During the birth, Cagney was recovering from brain surgery in the ICU when his nurses decided to unite him with his fiance as she started labor.

The nurses reached out to Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, which is an organization that provides photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby. This project, however, was a little different than their usual–this is how Boccolucci came into the picture.

You can watch Boccolucci’s video showing the birth below:

Boccolucci posted the video on her Facebook page, where she also encouraged viewers to donate to their GiveForward fundraising campaign. She told The Huffington Post why donating is so important:

“There is a point during the birth where Cagney tells Jessica that they are surrounded by all the love in the world right now. It is my hope that people will see the video, feel the love this family shares, and help lift them up and make a donation if they are able.

My hope is that the family gets all the support they can and remain hopeful that Cagney will beat this cancer.”

We hope Cagney makes a full recovery and is able to spend time with his family.

Read More:

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Joanna Valente

Joanna Valente is the Editorial Assistant at Kveller. She is the author of Sirs & Madams The Gods Are Dead, and Marys of the Sea (forthcoming), and received her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. You can follow her @joannasaid on Twitter, @joannacvalente on Instagram, or email her at

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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