Sat | Oct 23, 2021

Breast milk, healthy lifestyle saved my daughter from cancer – Part 1

Published:Sunday | July 25, 2021 | 8:50 AMTamara Bailey - Sunday Gleaner writer
Contributed Photos Baby Khassidy just after being diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma cancer.

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

Imagine taking your seemingly healthy baby to the doctor for their six-week-old visit, only to learn that they may not live if a series of an aggressive form of chemotherapy is not administered.

Then imagine being left with the ultimate decision of allowing your child to undergo what could be months of aggressive known medical treatment or take a leap of faith and seek natural treatment.

When Cherefa Francis found out she was pregnant, she was not immediately excited and thought it was not yet time for her to become a mother.

But quickly accepting the new status, the young woman became excited at the prospects and what she described as an “uncontrollable connection”.

It was not all sunshine and rainbows, though, as Francis admitted to enduring a difficult time during the early stages, being able to keep little to nothing down and at one stage weighing just 100 pounds.

“… My life changed drastically the same day I suspected that I was pregnant. I went to the emergency room so many times in my early pregnancy. I had terrible sickness and I couldn’t keep anything down. The few times I ate, I had food with little to no nutritional value. There was a point in my pregnancy that I weighed as low as 100lbs. It was so bad and had my father so worried he oftentimes had nightmares that there was something wrong with the baby.”

Francis pushed through nonetheless and had a successful birth, welcoming her seemingly healthy baby girl, Khassidy Francis, affectionately called Baby K, into the world.

But life is often never as it seems, and Francis, unknowingly, was being prepared for one of the greatest tests.

“The day I went for her six weeks’ clinic, it was immediately noticed that there was something strange about her. Her tummy was severely enlarged, very hard, and each vein was so pronounced the doctor sent us to emergency before he even examined her. She was admitted a little after midnight after going through rigorous testing.”

Several reports later from several doctors all pointed to one diagnosis.

“I could not process it. The mere thought brought my body into shock, and I don’t know if it was denial or hope, but I dispelled the idea so easily… I was terrified, lost in another world as it was evident something was severely wrong, but I didn’t want to accept it could be cancer, but there came the biopsy results, and it was confirmed that it was stage 4 Neuroblastoma [cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body].”

Francis said the only words that escaped her lips formed the question of how her baby would manage with the aggressive treatment at her age.

“My body literally shut down. My heart was so broken and disappointed that day, I could not even cry. Furthermore, I had cried enough the past weeks. I was literally numb.”

Having started chemotherapy and being told that an even more aggressive form would have to administered as the former was not getting a response, Francis said she decided to take a leap of faith with the miracle that had showed up for her.

Join us next week as we share the details of how this young mother used natural remedies to save her daughter’s life.