Baby Charlie gives cancer battler new hope

By Emily Norman -
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Carterton mother Brooke Malyon and her miracle baby daughter Charlie, 7 months. Photo / Emily Norman
Carterton mother Brooke Malyon and her miracle baby daughter Charlie, 7 months. Photo / Emily Norman

Carterton mother Brooke Malyon would have given up the fight against cancer after her second diagnosis, if it wasn't for her "miracle baby daughter" Charlie.

Now, after six months of treatment, she has just one week of radiation therapy left, and is looking forward to taking a breather, being a healthy mum, and planning her wedding to fiancé Chris Prenter.

Malyon was first diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma Cancer in 2013 when she was living in Auckland before moving to Carterton.

After six months of intense chemotherapy she went into remission but the cancer came back more than a year later, towards the end of her pregnancy with Charlie.

"I said to mum and Chris the first time around, if I ever get cancer again I probably won't fight it.

"That was obviously before I had Charlie.

"Because it was just such a hard time last time I decided that was it, but you do what you have to when you have a child."

Malyon said she was relieved to be nearing the end of treatment, but she didn't want to get too excited "until the doctors tell us we're good to go".

"But after 6 months, I'm over it. I'm ready to just sit down and recover really," she said.

"I've been travelling over the hill [to Wellington] every day for treatment.

"Once that's finished, hopefully no more, but they can't give me any results as to whether I'm in remission until the end of October because I need to have more scans."

Malyon said she wouldn't have been able to stay positive through the treatments without the support from her family and the community, which raised more than $21,000 to help the young family cope.

"Once we've had a breather it would be cool to go see everyone and just acknowledge them for everything they've done," she said.

Part of Malyon's treatment involved stem cell transplant and she said when she was in isolation after therapy, she would stay positive by planning her wedding.

"It will be a pretty low-key affair, but within the next year we would like to get married - I want my longer hair though.

"It would be cool to have [Charlie] be a part of it, because she's it from now on, you know.

"We probably won't be able to have any more children, so to have her involved would be quite cool."

Malyon said she was grateful to be able to share her story.

"When you see how many people commute to Wellington or Palmerston for treatment, it's huge. And it's not just the elderly. It affects all ages, all shapes, all sizes, all colours. It's a prick of a disease.

"But I'm still alive and I'm not 6-feet under."

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