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The Miracle Baby Resulting From A Hodgkin's Lymphoma Pregnancy

The Miracle Baby Resulting From A Hodgkin's Lymphoma Pregnancy

There’s something very special about baby Judah Grace Spear. The little girl was born in North Carolina at 2:22 a.m. on February 22, 2022 (or 2/22/22) at Delivery Room No. 2. It was also a Tuesday (or “Twosday”). Judah’s birth is considered almost a miracle. Her mother, Aberli, is a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She feared that the cancer treatments that would save her life made pregnancy a remote possibility. As per doctors, a Hodgkin’s lymphoma pregnancy is rare.

What is Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

Aberli gave birth to Judah at Cone Health Alamance Regional Medical Center. The hospital explained that the treatments she went through for her Hodgkin’s Lymphoma significantly reduced the chances that she could have children.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. It is most common in people between 20 and 40-years-old and people over 55. Cells in the lymphatic system grow abnormally and may spread beyond it with this disease.

It begins when an infection-fighting cell called a lymphocyte mutates. The cell multiplies rapidly and causes many diseased cells that keep multiplying. A large number of oversized, abnormal lymphocytes accumulate in the lymphatic system and crowd out healthy cells.

Symptoms and Treatments of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Signs and symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma may include:

  • Painless swelling of lymph nodes in your neck, armpits, or groin
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Severe itching
  • Increased sensitivity to the effects of alcohol or pain in your lymph nodes after drinking alcohol

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the main treatments for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Depending on the case, one or both of these treatments might be used. Immunotherapy or stem cell transplant is used to treat some patients.

Treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma is usually based on the extent or stage of the disease. A person’s age, general health, type, and the location of the lymphoma are other factors to consider when treating it.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Pregnancy

A study published in 2000 says coincident lymphoma and pregnancy are rare. It occurs in 1,000 or fewer deliveries.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy during the first trimester are associated with an increased risk of congenital malformations. This risk diminishes as the pregnancy advances. The pregnancy is usually terminated when lymphoma is diagnosed in the first trimester. After that termination, standard chemotherapy is recommended.

Grandma Kristi Engelbrecht told WFMY that Aberli’s cancer battle lasted six years. She fought Hodgkin’s Lymphoma until 2020.

A Prayer Answered

These make the case for Judah Grace Spear even more special. “Baby Judah is an answered prayer for her family,” Cone Health wrote in a social media post. “Mom Aberli is a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor, and the necessary cancer treatments she went through made pregnancy unlikely.”

“But the family continued to pray for a little one – and today their prayer was answered!” they added. The hospital added that “Judah” means “praise,” a name that “fits her story perfectly.”

“Judah is a reminder of all things good, God’s promises kept, and a community pulling together for the good of one another,” Engelbrecht told the news station.

Key Takeaways

Judah Grace Spear was born at 2:22 a.m. on Tuesday, 2/22/22, in Delivery Room No. 2. More importantly, she was born after her mother, Aberli, battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for six years. Aberli feared that the cancer treatments that saved her life would make pregnancy nearly impossible.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma begins when an infection-fighting cell called a lymphocyte mutates. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the main treatments for this disease.

For more on Lymphoma, click here.

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Sources

2 Really Is A Lucky Number For One Baby Born In North Carolina, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/judah-grace-spear-born-twosday-222-on-2-22-22_l_6215596fe4b06e1cc586a296, Accessed February 28, 2022

Meet Judah Grace, Baby Born at 2:22 a.m. on 2/22/2022: ‘An Answered Prayer for Her Family’, https://people.com/human-interest/meet-judah-grace-baby-born-at-222-am-on-2-22-2022/, Accessed February 28, 2022

Treating Hodgkin Lymphoma, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/hodgkin-lymphoma/treating.htm,  Accessed February 28, 2022

Lymphoma and pregnancy, https://europepmc.org/article/med/11130473, Accessed February 28, 2022

The treatment of Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in pregnancy, https://haematologica.org/article/view/4564, Accessed February 28, 2022

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Written by Jason Inocencio Updated Apr 15
Medically reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD