A mum who was diagnosed with cancer whilst pregnant with her ‘miracle baby’ has heartbreakingly been given just two months to live.
Kelly Butler and her husband Dave had been trying for years for a baby and even attempted a round of IVF which sadly failed but the pair were ecstatic when Kelly conceived naturally in 2020 at the age of 40.
However, her excitement was tragically ripped away when she went for a routine pregnancy blood test as it was then – at 27 weeks pregnant – that she learnt that she had atypical chronic myeloid leukaemia, BirminghamLive reported.
It’s a rare form of cancer which is usually seen in patients in their 70s and Kelly started treatment straight away.
And despite the treatment being safe for pregnancy, Kelly was advised to deliver her daughter four weeks early, Milly May was born healthy in November 2020.
Kelly has been unable to enjoy her time as a mum as she has constantly been undergoing treatments – one of which was a bone marrow transplant which, sadly, did not work.
And the mum was told earlier this year that a second transplant would not be possible as she was given the gut-wrenching news that she has between two months to two years left to live.
A GoFundMe page has been set up in the hopes of raising enough money to send Kelly overseas for treatment in an effort to save her life.
As Kelly is so unwell, one of her close friends Sandra Clarke spoke on her behalf, she said: “We’re up against the clock really.
“Her white blood cells are stable at the moment which is great. But there’s a medical trial she can go on but only once she gets more poorly.
“But once the count starts going down, that will mean that she is dying. And that is the horrible reality.”
“Kelly is still working part-time from home and wants to keep things as normal as she can,” Sandra said. “But she recently had a bout of pneumonia and has been unwell.
“She has lost a lot of weight and is just over six stone. A dietician is working with her at the moment to try to help her build her weight.
“After the transplant, she had to have all of her childhood vaccinations again and her arm blew up because the needle was too big for her thin arm. She is prone to infections and has a chest infection at the moment.
“She has regular blood tests every three weeks and has been told that her white blood cells won’t stay stable for long. She needs regular transfusions too.”
And now the race is on to find a treatment that could save Kelly’s life.
Sandra said: “We need to find something that will help her now. Ideally, something that will get her into remission but if not then something to prolong her life.
“She has been given two months to two years and we want her to see Milly grow up. The heartache she went through to get pregnant was so much.
“The IVF made her ill and she gave up with it when it didn’t work. And then she rang me at home and said she needed to see my face.
“When she told me she was pregnant I almost fell off my chair. And then she was told she had a high white blood cell count when she went for one of the regular blood tests.
“But she hadn’t felt unwell at all so it came as such a shock. She was then transferred to a specialist and told the devastating news that she had leukaemia and she’s been ill ever since.”
For now, Kelly’s main focus is spending time with her daughter as Sandra explained: “She’s never been able to enjoy Milly or go to toddler groups or enjoy her maternity leave.
“She had her bone marrow transplant on Milly’s first birthday last year and was in hospital for six weeks.
“She couldn’t see her and could only talk to her on a video call. It was one of the lowest moments of her whole life.
“But she did it thinking it would be the start of something new but then she was told that it hadn’t worked. It is such a rare form of leukaemia she has that it just didn’t work.
“One doctor said that a second transplant would kill her and another said that a second one wouldn’t be funded on the NHS but we think that’s because it isn’t likely to work.”
Her loved ones are now hoping to find answers overseas. “Kelly and Dave have sent off letters to doctors all over the world,” Sandra said. “Someone in Texas is happy to speak to her and go from there.
“We don’t know what treatment she’ll need or how much it will cost so we just want to raise as much as we can so we’re ready once something becomes available.”
Sandra helped to set up the GoFundMe page which has already raised over £30,000 towards the £250,000 goal.
“When she told us the prognosis it was like how do I react to that? But she perked up once we set up the GoFundMe page because it gave her some hope.
“She is so frail that she finds it hard to pick her up and has missed out on so much. She has had a lot of messages of support which I know mean a lot.”