After two years and four heartbreaking miscarriages, Jodi Killeffer and her husband were overjoyed to finally be pregnant without any complications. But their joy gave way to sadness once again when Jodi received a devastating diagnosis in her second trimester. She had breast cancer and feared the unthinkable.
“Am I going to have to choose between my health and my baby?”
Determined and strong in the face of a new medical crisis, Jodi turned to the place she trusted to give her family the best possible care: Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).
At BWH, a multidisciplinary BWH team, led by oncologist and BWH Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist Katherine Economy, MD, gave Jodi treatment options that wouldn’t cause harm to her unborn baby. The treatment included surgery and chemotherapy while she was pregnant.
“We can’t do things like radiation during pregnancy, but we routinely do surgery during pregnancy, and we do chemotherapy,” Economy says.
Following surgery and months of cancer treatments, Jodi delivered a healthy baby girl, Coraline.
“Through it all, I tried to focus on the positive and my daughter was my one constant positive. She was my prize,” says Jodi.
Jodi’s positive spirit carried her through the next phase of her treatment, as well. Following Coraline’s birth, the new mother underwent a mastectomy. Jodi describes the process of having and recovering from major surgery while leaning on her family and friends to care for her newborn daughter as “no picnic.” Yet throughout her ordeal, she knew she was in good hands.
“I knew the Brigham would take good care of me,” Jodi says. “There was an instant connection and the care was seamless.”
Today, Jodi is done with treatment and adjusting to her new routine. “Every day is easier and easier and we get more excited to be ‘normal’ again. Most of all, we just love our little baby Cora. She’s perfect, absolutely perfect.”