Pediatrician carries baby for woman fighting cancer - KCTV5 News

Pediatrician carries baby for woman fighting cancer

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Baby Nathan came into the world healthy and loved. (KCTV5) Baby Nathan came into the world healthy and loved. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A local pediatrician just gave one couple the ultimate gift. She carried their baby for them after the woman was diagnosed with not only being a carrier of the BRCA gene but with breast cancer.

The couple wants to get the message out to others that even in the face of shattering news, there is hope for people who want to have a family.

Philip and Manjusha Abraham are experiencing parenthood for the first time and loving every precious minute with baby Nathan. But the road here was not easy.

The Abrahams are pediatricians and were in residency at the University of Kansas Health System when they decided to start a family.

Manjusha Abraham had a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, so the couple decided to do some genetic testing. It turned out she was a carrier of the BRCA gene, but that wasn't all.

"So the next step if you have that gene is to have an MRI of your breast, and that’s when they found the nodules and they biopsied it and found out it was breast cancer,” Manjusha Abraham said.

And as a physician, she knew exactly what she was about to endure. To begin, she underwent a bilateral mastectomy.

"Before I started chemo and after surgery I had eggs taken out and had embryos made and had them frozen,” she said.

Manjusha Abraham powered through the rest of her treatments beating cancer.

The couple traveled to Hermann, MO to celebrate after her last chemotherapy treatment with their dear friend, Carissa Stanton, who was her mentor through medical school, and her husband.  They talked about the couple's desire to start their family.

"Ever since I've known him, he's wanted to be a father. He's a pediatrician. He loves kids. So, kids are his thing,” Stanton said.

It was while in Hermann they were offered them the ultimate gift. Stanton offered to carry the Abrahams' baby.

"At first, we thought they’re kidding,” Phillip Abraham said.

But, Stanton wasn’t kidding at all.

"I just couldn't imagine with the burden of knowledge that I have is that stranger going to eat right? Are they going to wear a seatbelt with Phil and Manju ... my friend's baby? I just couldn't imagine a stranger doing it. So there I was ... It just clicked. I knew what I had to do,” she said.

After prep work, one of those frozen embryos was successfully implanted. By then, the Abrahams had moved to St. Louis so Manjusha Abraham could start her fellowship, but the couple traveled back to Kansas City for all of Stanton's prenatal appointments.

"I think the heartbeat was our big thing ... just hearing that echo in the room was awesome,” Philip Abraham said.

And the proud parents were in the room on the day their son came into the world.

Stanton had endured hours of labor, but the Abrahams helped every step of the way.

"I was like, 'I'm so tired!' And Phil whispered in my ear, 'Just think of all the joy that your daughters have brought to your life. You're about to do that for us,'” said Stanton, her eyes filling with tears.

Baby Nathan came into the world healthy and loved.

Stanton and her husband are Nathan's godparents, and the two families spend lots of time on FaceTime, sharing pictures and getting together in person whenever they can. They say they'll always be a part of each other's lives, and Nathan has an amazing birth story.

"This is what they deserve. This is the happy ending,” Stanton. said.

Recent advances in medicine even made it possible for the Abrahams to test the frozen embryos for the BRCA gene. Nathan does not carry it, so he won't pass it onto any future daughters he might have.

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