January 7, 2019
A mom from the U.K has been making international headlines for her inspiring story. Dionne Brown, 26, is a single mom of four: Tiegan, 6, Hallie, 4, and 18-month-old twins Emmett and Cohen. Just months after welcoming the twins, she was diagnosed with cancer in her left knee bone. Brown said she first noticed the pain in her leg in November 2016, when she was pregnant with the twins. But when she saw her doctor, the young mom was told the pain was due to "softened tissue in her knee joints," a side effect of pregnancy. Upon giving birth in April 2017, the pain didn't dissipate.
"Immediately after I returned home, the pain started again but this time it was significantly much worse," Brown said, according to SWNS News. "I was in so much pain that I was vomiting several times a day. But it then got to a point where I couldn't bear to see my children look at me, so I went to my mother's for a few days and left my kids with my partner."
Once again, she was misdiagnosed—this time with osteoarthritis. But three months later, when she took a scary tumble with her son Cohen (who thankfully wasn't injured), doctors looked into another possible cause for Brown's pain. It wasn't until after 12 more appointments that an X-ray revealed a tumor in her knee.
"I actually couldn't process it and take in the news straight away, because I was so shocked," she said. "But when I did realize, I knew that my whole life was about to change completely. It was absolutely devastating."
Heartbreakingly, despite going through two rounds of chemo, Brown ultimately had to go with amputation. "I could either have an amputation and have a prosthetic leg installed or continue to have rigorous chemotherapy treatment and hoped that my leg would get better over time," she said. "However, the doctors told me that I was more likely to walk again if I had a leg amputation."
In April of this year, Brown was in the hospital when her L.O.s took their first steps. "I wasn't easy seeing the twins able to walk and not myself," Brown said, according to SWNS News. "I have four kids, and I wasn't able to do things that I would have otherwise been able to do with them like taking them to the park or cooking for them. I spent a very long time in the hospital and was only home a few days a month so I had to leave the children in the care of friends. I was missing everyone especially my twins who were growing up very fast."
Brown admitted that despite celebrating her children's milestone, she felt guilt and frustration around the circumstances. "[The twins] visited me in hospital and I noticed both were walking proudly and with confidence—it was truly amazing to see," she shared. "I did feel slightly annoyed that I missed a vital part of their development, but it was nice to see that they were finally walking."
It was this turning point that inspired Brown to get back on her feet, using a prosthetic limb. By August, she was taking her very own first steps. "It started off with tiny baby steps and over time I slowly developed the confidence to walk longer distances," she said. "I developed my confidence slowly to walk longer distances every time. It was hard on the kids though, as I had to rely on them to help with the housework and day to day tasks."
With several months of walking again under her belt, Brown reflected on her own major milestone: "I remember the moment when I could walk independently with the metal leg, I felt great. It was kind of weird though, because it wasn't my own leg. My kids were praising me for it, and it felt like they were my parents because they were celebrating that I could walk. I am glad that I had an amputation, because I may not have walked again if I had still had my leg."
This brave mom's journey will surely serve as an inspiration to many.