An upstate New York woman is counting down the days to her expected delivery next month as she also delays treatment for life-threatening brain cancer.
Kim Vaillancourt, 36, was diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer called glioblastoma when she was about halfway through her pregnancy, according to long-time friend and family spokesperson Jenna Koch.
The diagnosis came days after Vaillancourt, of Tonawanda, New York, and her husband adopted three girls into their family last December. Her first symptoms were a headache that wouldn't go away. Koch said because of her pregnancy, Vaillancourt decided to get the headache checked out.
"If she wasn’t pregnant she would have slipped it off," Koch told ABC News. "She’s not one to get it seen or treated."
A scan revealed the tumors on her brain stem and front lobe. Doctors performed surgery within just 24 hours to remove two tumors, but Vaillancourt has decided to abstain from other treatment until her son is born.
In spite of the frightening diagnosis, Koch said the family has been buoyed by their faith and an outpouring of support from across the nation.
"They’re amazingly strong, their faith has never been stronger," Koch said. "They’re blessed each morning and they have a beautiful family."
Koch said the family has also been helped by numerous messages of support and prayer. She said one woman, whose husband died from brain cancer, sent a picture of her church praying for the family.
"We’ve heard from people from Bermuda, California, Colorado, Texas -- people who are so moved and inspired by her," Koch said, noting that Vaillancourt is "handling this with grace."
Koch, who has set up a GoFundMe page for the couple, said the pair are eagerly anticipating the birth next month of their son, who they plan to name Wyatt Eli.
"The meaning behind Wyatt is 'brave little warrior sent from God,'" Koch said. "The baby is developing and progressing on schedule. They’re very, very blessed."