When you find out your child has a devastating illness, it’s definitely one of the bleakest and most horrible moments in the world. This is what happened when parents Ana Pittis and Jaimy Verhagen were confronted with the tragic news that their infant daughter, Xenia, had a rare brain tumor.
Xenia was only 2 months old when she was diagnosed with a stage three naplastic ependymoma brain tumor that her doctors believe she was born with. The malignant tumor caused her head to swell–within a month she had to undergone three operations. Because Xenia is so young, she had to go through six rounds of chemotherapy, as opposed to radiation following surgery.
Now, at 6 months old, Xenia has completed four rounds. Sadly, her mom noted that her tumor has a 95% chance of reoccurrence–which would naturally completely devastate any parent. However, Xenia’s mom is focusing on the positive in spite of the grim statistic–as a way to deal with the situation as best as she can. Instead, she’s trying to appreciate and cherish each moment she has with Xenia.
As a way to do this, she breastfeeds her while she undergoes treatment, stating in the Facebook group, Breastfeeding Mama Talk:
“I am incredibly happy to have the opportunity to breastfeed her while she goes through chemotherapy. It has been a bonding experience for the both of us, especially because no day is guaranteed.”
Her strength is completely inspiring and admirable. Our thoughts and hearts are with Xenia and her family.