The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Dave Baxter
Posted: 05/22/2019 10:00 AM
When Samantha Lajoie got the shocking news that she had been diagnosed with cancer she was forced to contemplate what that diagnosis could mean for herself, but also what it could mean for her unborn child.
The La Broquerie resident said the fear and anxiety she felt when she got the news in January 2012 was more focused on what might happen to her unborn son than about what might happen to her.
"This was my first child," she said. "There were a lot of new things coming at me all at once. I was so concerned I would lose him or that it would be passed on to him, but I was assured by my doctor he would be fine in there."
"The baby is completely protected when it is inside of you. The human body is an amazing thing."
Lajoie’s son, Mason, was born in March 2012. Lajoie said seeing her first-born child was an emotional moment after all that they had been through.
It didn’t take long for her to realize it was now time to start her real fight against the disease, a fight she said she refused to lose.
"When he was born it was incredible, and then I quickly realized OK it’s crunch time and I have to face this and start treatment," Lajoie said. "The entire time I just had the attitude that dying was not an option and having my son was one of the reasons.
"I just said ‘no I’m not going to die, I just had a baby.’"
Lajoie began cancer treatments two months after Mason’s birth. In January 2013, she learned that her cancer was in remission.
Lajoie said she believes she would not be alive today if her son had not been conceived. Prenatal tests led to the discovery that something could be wrong, and that she should get tested for the possibility of cancer.
"Some people say everything happens for a reason and this was not a planned pregnancy, so I truly believe that is true," she said.
Lajoie, who lives with her husband Andrew, Mason who is now seven years old, and her second child Noah, said that as a cancer survivor she will take part in the Relay for Life at the Mennonite Heritage Village on May 25.
The nationwide event brings communities together to celebrate survivors, while also honouring those who are fighting cancer and those who have lost their battle.
Lajoie, who will attend her third Relay for Life this year, said she appreciates the positivity of the event.
"There is just so much love and it’s just a positive atmosphere despite the fact it’s such a horrible disease," Lajoie said.
Steinbach Relay for Life co-chair Angela Breen said Steinbach’s event includes teams of between one and 20 participants raising money for cancer research, who then take part in the relay where participants can walk or run at the route at the museum.
"We are celebrating survivors that beat cancer and we celebrate and grieve with families of those that have lost their battles, and we are going to keep doing this until we find a cure," Breen said.
The Steinbach event will begin on Saturday with the relay at 3 p.m. and continue with other activities until 11 p.m.
More information can be found by visiting the Canadian Cancer Society website at cancer.ca.
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