Cancer patient says pregnancy helped save her life

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Mississippi woman diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia believes her baby girls saved her life.

Mallory Brinson was 26 weeks pregnant with twins when she began having pain and bleeding  and went to the hospital where she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

"I feel they are the reason I had contractions on the 29th and came into the hospital to find out I had cancer, because I had only had it, they figured, for three or four weeks," said Mallory.

Oncologists at Baptist Cancer Center said because Mallory was well into her pregnancy, she was able to get chemotherapy right away.

"If she had it in the first trimester I don't think we would have a viable pregnancy.  Studies show in the second trimester we can safely treat her with chemotherapy and most patients do fine and the babies do fine ,"  said Dr. Muhammad Raza.

During the first week of her chemotherapy, though, she was rushed to the intensive care unit at Baptist with a high fever and was told she might lose the babies. Mallory says that's also when her water broke, and her daughter's decided to enter the world.

"I think the girls realized it was a little hot in my belly," said Mallory.

Doctors say Mallory is now in remission, but will need a stem cell transplant to keep the cancer from coming back.

The twins are in the neonatal unit at Baptist's Women's hospital gaining weight and learning to breathe on their own.

Mallory, who is back in the hospital for more chemotherapy, is able to look in on her girls and talk to their doctors and nurses via a laptop and web camera.

"They will do certain movements when I talk to them, so that's pretty cool," said Mallory.

The twin girls, Everly and Annastyn, are expected to be in the hospital about six more weeks.

Doctors are optimistic about Mallory's prognosis.

"I think the bottom line is these leukemia's can be treated , although they are rare in pregnancies. but you know having a good team effort and positive attitude gives you the best results," said Dr. Raza.

Friends and family have set up a FB  page and website for Mallory where they are selling t-shirts to raise money for her medical bills. Mallory has also been documenting her journey on Instagram.