A woman who had already beat cancer once found out it had returned a few weeks before she delivered her four beautiful babies.
Kayla Gaytan was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in January 2016. She underwent five months of chemotherapy—successfully!—then later found out she was pregnant!
Such amazing news! And on December 30, Gaytan gave birth to quadruplets at 30 weeks: babies Lillian, Victoria, Michael, and Charles.
"It was nerve-wracking," she told WKRN-TV. "But to see them when they all came out and to hear them crying, that was really exciting."
Pretty incredible! And yet, also bittersweet. Because just a few weeks before giving birth, Gaytan found out that her cancer had returned. "You think you've beat it the first time," she explained. "When it comes back, you're just wondering, why get pregnant with these four babies and then, you know, something like this happens."
It's a super-sad twist to this brave mama's story and people who heard about it on social media were quick to react, reaching out to show their support.
- RELATED: How to Talk to Kids About Cancer
"Praying for this family!" wrote one commenter on the WKRN Facebook page. "I can only imagine their joy and concerns all experienced at the same time. God has an amazing plan for you, your husband, and your children. Trust and enjoy those babies."
"Kayla, I'm sending up prayers for you, yours & the rest of your family," added another. "You are going to be OK. God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. Pray on warrior!"
And from a third: "I know they haven't asked but is there a [GoFundMe] for them? I pray they have everything they need and the sweet mom will be there for all of her children! How can I help??"
Turns out, there IS a GoFundMe page, set up by Kayla's husband Charles.
"My wife and I have been through a lot, just this year," he writes. "In January 2016, we got married, we were so excited to begin our lives together. A week later, we found out that Kayla was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. She battled a gruesome 5 months of chemotherapy, getting treatments every other week. In May, we were told awesome news, Kayla was in remission. In June, just one month after completing chemotherapy, by the grace of God, she became pregnant with 4 babies. Yes, naturally conceived quadruplets! The pregnancy was going off without a hitch, everything was going smoothly. At 28 weeks pregnant, Kayla had a biopsy and the results confirmed a relapse of her Hodgkins Lymphoma."
Now Kayla will need a stem cell transplant, followed by 16 months of chemotherapy. Meanwhile, the babies remain in the NICU, where Charles says they are trying their best to breathe. Even so, he says his family still feels very blessed.
- Want the latest parenting news? Sign up for our Parents Daily newsletter
"We've been extremely fortunate in our lives," he explains. "However we appreciate any help as we have a long journey ahead."
Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram and Twitter.