Texas Mom Puts 'Miracle' Daughter Before Chemo

Julie Prater, 32, diagnosed with malignant brain tumor
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2014 12:30 PM CST
Texas Mom Puts 'Miracle' Daughter Before Chemo
When Julie Prater was 8 weeks pregnant with her second child she was diagnosed with Grade IV Glioblastoma. She decided to hold off her radiation treatment until the baby was born, out of fear.   (Gary Phillips)

In the face of a grim brain cancer diagnosis, Julie Prater decided to delay the treatment that would save her life—to protect her unborn child. At 32, Prater had a full-body seizure as she got up from bed to tend to her year-old son, reports Dallas News. Not long after, she was at the hospital, lying in an MRI scanner thinking: "My life's changing, something major is changing," she tells WFAA. She was right—doctors diagnosed her with the most malignant brain tumor you can get, a Grade 4 glioblastoma on her frontal lobe, and gave her 14 months to live. She was eight-and-a-half weeks pregnant. Surgery was needed to remove the tumor, but the baby had more growing to do. So Prater and her husband Luke "decided to wait as long as we could."

She had surgery in her third trimester and it went well. But soon after, she had more seizures —the tumor had grown and doctors insisted on radiation. Though Prater was worried radiation would increase her daughter's own risk of childhood cancer, this time she had no choice—without it, mother and child were both in danger. "But [June] made it through, twice,” she says; June Lane was born Monday by C-section, and is healthy. "She came out pink and screaming," Prater says. "God was definitely with us through this." Now Prater is facing her tumor—chemo likely starts next week and the treatment's effectiveness is uncertain. "Now I’m bound and determined not to be depressed," she says. "I’m not going to be in the fetal position, crying in my bedroom." (Another incredible pregnancy story—mom and daughter give birth on the same day.)

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