Pregnant cancer survivors support each other online, then meet for first time

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CHICAGO — When Raquel Lopez and Lisa Weiland met for the first time, they already had a bond like no other.

Lopez was months into her pregnancy when her doctor gave her news she never expected: She was diagnosed with colon cancer. Her doctor told her this was rare– happening in just one in every 13,000 pregnancies– and that chemotherapy carried risks for her unborn child.

She was scared– for herself, but even more so for what it would mean for her baby. 

Lopez found a system of support in Weiland, a mother who had gone through the same experience two years earlier. She saw one of Lopez’s Facebook photos and knew she had to reach out and help her be strong.

“You can get treatment,” Weiland told her. “You seek out the right people who want to listen to you and want to help you. And you can do it and have very healthy babies.”

“I just sent her a message this morning,” Lopez told FOX 32. “[Her] words just have meant so much for me the past year, because it’s such a unique experience.

Now, both women have healthy children. When Lopez finished her last round of chemotherapy, she was surprised with a visitor: Weiland. It was the first time the two had ever met in person.

Lopez credits Weiland for helping her through both her pregnancy and her cancer: a voice who understood what she was going through, when she needed it the most.

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