Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Aussie journalist Elle Halliwell welcomes baby boy after refusing cancer treatment

Elle Halliwell.jpg

When Elle Halliwell discovered that she was pregnant with her first child earlier this year, she knew, like most women, that there could be a few struggles along the way.

Unlike most women, however, Halliwell wasn’t just considering the typical concerns that can hit during pregnancy. Because unlike most women, the Australian journalist had been diagnosed with aggressive bone cancer just 48 hours previously.

That was back in May, and now, after an incredible few months, Halliwell has just welcomed her healthy baby son Tor into the world, after refusing to follow advice from doctors who urged her to terminate her pregnancy to begin treatment.

“I’d love to say I jumped for joy, but my exclamation instead was of the four-letter kind,” the journalist says of the moment a home testing kit confirmed that she was indeed pregnant, just two days after her cancer diagnosis.

“My husband and I were still telling family and close friends of my health challenge when I discovered I was four weeks pregnant. Our first thought was, can we keep the baby?

“Our specialist strongly advised us not to because, without treatment, my slow-growing cancer could possibly turn aggressive and kill me before my pregnancy reached full term.”


Read more: The shocking truth behind women's experiences of maternity leave in Britain


Faced with an incredibly tough decision, and after extensive research, plus a trip to Adelaide to seek out a second opinion, Halliwell decided not to follow the advice of her cancer specialist.

“He recommended I abort, freeze some eggs and immediately begin a relatively new form of oral chemotherapy called tyrosine kinase inhibitors, or TKIs, which I would have to take for at least five years — until I was 35,” she writes.

“Only then could I consider stopping treatment and try to conceive.”

 

Welcome to the world #BabyBiasotto 

A photo posted by Elle Halliwell (@ellehalliwell) on

Given that Halliwell’s cancer, chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), had been found very early on, and that her husband had stumbled upon case studies of other women diagnosed with the same disease, who had managed to carry their babies full term and survive, the pair decided to take the risk.

Instead of beginning a course of intensive chemotherapy to fight the cancer head-on, Halliwell instead opted for weekly injections of a far gentler drug called Interferon, found to be safe during pregnancy as it does not cross the placenta.

Luckily, both Halliwell and her baby responded well to the side-effects which can often include food aversion, fatigue, depression and flu-like symptoms.

In a bid to hasten her treatment, however, it was decided that the journalist would deliver her baby at 36 weeks, rather than the usual 37.

 

#32weeks #sofarsogood #babybiasotto

A photo posted by Elle Halliwell (@ellehalliwell) on

Taking to Instagram yesterday, Halliwell, who delivered her baby earlier this week following a relatively straightforward six hour labour, wrote:

“Tor Felix Biasotto, you've won my heart. All the sleepless nights, the health challenges and the anxiousness of being a new mum will be a privilege now I have you safe in my arms.”

In a video interview from her hospital bed, the writer revealed that she will now begin chemotherapy immediately.


Read more: Mums celebrate post pregnancy bodies with photos of stretchmarks and stomach scars


“It will be in the next couple of days, sooner than we thought,” she explains. “We were going to have a bit of time before (I started) but my levels have gone up a bit so they are a bit more concerned than they were.

“That is why we had to have him at 36 weeks on the dot and not 37 so that I could start the treatment as soon as possible.

“If I am healthy, then I can keep him healthy. We are both very lucky. All is well that ends well. We are really over the moon.”

Related

fake pregnant.JPG

Woman's genius response to the question 'when will you have kids?'

Fearne Cotton depression

Fearne Cotton opens up about her mental health battle

woman.jpg

“It is vital that MPs vote to end violence against women this Friday”

Comments

More

Everything the Stranger Things 2 trailer reveals about the new series

Still gloriously terrifying and 80s, you’ll be pleased to know

by Amy Swales
24 Jul 2017

Dolores takes no prisoners in the new Westworld trailer

Remember when she was the shy, wide-eyed daughter of a rancher? Yeah, us neither

by Amy Swales
24 Jul 2017

Grandmother schools us in determination after becoming oldest graduate

Wait til you see what her dissertation was on...

by Megan Murray
24 Jul 2017

Boots apologises for “poor choice of words” on morning-after pill

Cheaper emergency contraception? Unprotected sex party at ours, everyone!

by Amy Swales
24 Jul 2017

Love Island may end tonight, but every single islander will return

These new shows definitely sound like our type on paper…

24 Jul 2017

“How Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington gave my generation a voice"

The musician leaves a lasting legacy

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Jul 2017

The grossly sexist ads we can’t believe exist in the 21st century

From a Co-op egg to that deeply offensive Protein World poster

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jul 2017

How your Love Island obsession is wreaking havoc with your health

Experts have genuinely issued a warning…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jul 2017

Did Japan’s First Lady pretend not to speak English to ignore Trump?

Akie Abe, we salute you.

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Jul 2017

This 'Beer For Her' has managed to offend everyone on Twitter

Apparently womankind can only ever drink from pink receptacles

by Megan Murray
21 Jul 2017