Beccles cancer survivor with "miracle" baby Abigail
PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 October 2011 | UPDATED: 09:26 07 October 2011
Archant © 2011
A SURVIVOR of a rare form of childhood cancer is all smiles today as she holds her "miracle baby" Abigail, after overcoming two miscarriages.
"Right up to the last minute we were worried, but when we saw her and she cried, we knew she was fine."
Becky Fenn, of Beccles, was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma at the age of three, a cancer affecting the muscular tissue around the bones.
Due to the rarity of the disease she was accepted on a research programme by Imperial Cancer Research, now Cancer Research UK, at St Batholomew’s Hospital, London, in September 1987.
Following the diagnosis, Miss Fenn underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and bone marrow surgery for 18 months, but then in May 2001, at the age of 17, she had to have major surgery to remove an aggressive, life-threatening tumour.
Mother of the 27-year-old, Therese Fenn, said: “When a child has gone through cancer treatment and the research stage, it is not known how much damage is done and they don’t know if the person’s fertility will be damaged.
“Abigail has been a bit of a miracle.”
Miss Fenn, a lifeguard at Bungay, has remained positive throughout her cancer battles and in January 2002 she met her partner, 32-year-old production controller, Dave Catchpole.
Their friendship blossomed and when they found out they were first expecting, they were delighted. But sadly in April 2009 they lost their first baby at 37 weeks, then in February 2010 they lost their second.
Miss Fenn said: “When I found out I was expecting for the third time, I felt scared but excited all in one.
“Right up to the last minute we were worried, but when we saw her and she cried, we knew she was fine.”
Abigail was delivered by caesarean section at 37 weeks, weighing 5lb and 3oz (2.5 kilos) and although the couple joked that parenthood was “hard work”, they are overjoyed.
Mr Catchpole said: “Going through what we have makes you stronger as a person. People shouldn’t worry about the little things when worse things can happen.
“I would say to anyone going through the same thing, don’t give up hope. We just carried on trying to the point where it all paid off.”
On being a parent, Miss Fenn said she was most looking forward to watching Abigail grow and “seeing her go through life”. She added: “I’m keeping my fingers crossed she will be fine because every day is different, She’s a good baby and I would say she is a miracle – our little angel.”