Mother who chose to give birth over having cancer treatment dies three days after having her baby
There are good mothers, there are great mothers, and then there is Cara Combs -- a woman in a class of her own.
When Combs was 23 weeks pregnant with her fourth child, doctors diagnosed her with Stage 4 Melanoma and advised her to have her baby immediately so she could begin treatment. Knowing her unborn daughter would have had a better chance at survival if she waited five weeks, Combs postponed the cancer treatment that could have saved her life.
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Combs first broke the difficult news to her friends and family with a post on her Facebook page in November. "Last week I was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma. I am also 25 weeks pregnant," she explained "I can't begin treatment while pregnant so I have some tough decisions to make. Against the advice of my oncologist, I am choosing to delay my treatment for three weeks in order to get the baby to 28 weeks." She then went on to discuss what a surprise the diagnosis was, especially considering all the precautions she had taken in the past combined with her young age. "I saw a dermatologist last year and she didn't find anything concerning. Even my oncologist can't find the source." On December 5, after putting off treatment for 5 weeks, Combs welcomed her 2 lb 1.2 oz baby girl Shaylin, dubbed "Shay," into the world. Emily Lucarz, a photographer, donated her time and talents to capture the Combs family's journey:
Combs' last mission as a mother was a successful one, as she was able to save her baby girl before devastatingly losing her battle with cancer on December 9. According to a Facebook post by Lucarz, Combs had "every intention of fighting this cancer once she was released from the hospital post birth." But apparently due to complications, Cara ended up needing a liver transplant. Because of her cancer, she was not considered a candidate. Lucarz also wanted the world to know the following anecdote about Combs:
Her husband Roy shared the heart-wrenching news today on a GoFundMe page started for the family to cover treatment costs:
Little fun fact about Cara. She INSISTED on having Thanksgiving dinner at her house just a few weeks ago. With how weak she was, she struggled (while smiling) but insisted on it for the sake of her children. She really was quite a mom.
Cara Combs, survived by her husband and four children, truly defines what it means to be both a selfless person and a good mother. May she rest in peace.
I wanted to let everyone know that we lost Cara Walters Combs this morning. I don't have to tell you how great of a person she was. She will be missed by all. I always knew she was destined for greater things. We all have a perfect angel looking over us. She was the strongest person I ever met and the best wife and mother. She sacrificed everything so her legacy could live on. Thank you all for your support and prayers. She was my everything and always will be.
Related: Watch the story of Joey Feek, another dedicated mother who, despite her illness, celebrated the holidays with her family at home:
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