A LEUKAEMIA survivor who delayed treatment to start a family has spoken out about the battle for her ‘miracle’ children.
Fran Burke was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer when she was just 29-years-old and was told she would need a bone marrow transplant.
Doctors told her the operation could possibly make her infertile but said she needed the transplant to survive.
But knowing she wanted children, the headstrong Rowington resident decided to postpone her treatment and try for a baby.
Fran, now 52, said: “A lot of people didn’t understand. They would ask is it fair to bring a child into the world if it is going to lose its mum?
“But I was adamant. To imagine my life without children was harder to come to terms with than leukaemia itself. My doctor asked me how it important from one to ten was it for me to have children. I said 11. So he backed me and gave me three months of treatment, I was told if I couldn’t conceive I would have to move on and forget it.”
Luckily she fell pregnant with her son Matthew – who was given his name because it means ‘gift from god’.
And just a few months later she discovered she was having another baby who she called Sebastian.
Once her family was complete, Fran went ahead with her transplant – done anonymously through blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan.
Admiring the hard work they did she became a trustee to ‘give the charity its human side’ and to connect with donors.
She has recently been one of the subjects of a London photography exhibition documenting the struggles of transplant survivors.
Visit www.anthonynolan.org to sign up to the transplant register or find out more.