When Amy Wilson, now 29, started having severe migraine headaches five years ago, and noticed trouble with her hand-eye coordination, she knew that something serious was going on. She went to her doctor’s office for a check-up and couldn’t believe the diagnosis:
A brain tumor.
“NEVER in my mind would I have thought brain tumor,” Amy says. Amy’s brain tumor was so severe that her doctors had to operate immediately, but even with emergency surgery, “at best, they gave me 6 months after all treatment and surgeries,” Amy recalls.
Amy’s intense treatment included a clinical study drug and chemotherapy, which doctors told her would render her infertile at the age of only 24.
Coming from a large family herself (she’s one of 11 children), Amy was devastated by the diagnosis, but concentrated her thoughts and prayers on the treatment that she hoped would help. She and her husband also enrolled in a foster care program to be able to open their hearts and homes to a child in any way that they could. “I had given up hope of ever having kids and being a mother, so we decided to look into other options,” Amy says. “Even though my future was looking a little more promising with each day, I was still diagnosed of a terminal illness; unfortunately, that meant I couldn’t adopt, so my husband and I enrolled in a foster care program. A couple in our church found out about us and their granddaughter was in need of a more stable home. Without any hesitation we took this as a sign from God and a chance to finally start a family, not in the way we thought or dreamed of but in the way God had planned for us.”
While Amy focused on her treatment and caring for their little girl through foster care, her family and friends prayed around the clock for a miracle.
And some would say that what happened next was definitely a miracle–
Amy discovered that she was pregnant.
After discovering that she was indeed pregnant—a medical marvel—Amy made the courageous decision to stop her cancer treatment. “I knew I had a little precious baby inside and I wanted this little miracle to have a chance of life,” Amy explains. “I was willing to put mine aside to be able to let this little baby grow, and if that meant stop[ing] all chemo and other drugs then I knew I had to stay positive, but I was afraid to get my hopes up.”
But Amy’s message of hope and life is still going strong.
Because not long after Amy’s first biological daughter, Maria, now 3, was born, Amy found out she was expecting again—and she wasn’t just expecting a baby; she was expecting two babies! Amy’s twin boys were born healthy and happy, and then welcomed another baby brother, when Amy gave birth again less than a year later. “Irish triplets!” laughs Amy.
After stopping her treatment to give her first baby a chance, Amy was able to welcome three more children through birth and finalize the adoption of their oldest daughter, Ella, now 5, with her husband, Chad—all while remaining in remission.
“I am almost six years remission,” Amy exclaims. “Since it is terminal, they can not say it is gone but it hasn’t grown!”
Having gone to school as a young girl with Amy, I can personally say that she is a remarkable person; always kind, full of life and light, and now, enduring what most of us fear only in our darkest nightmares with a smile on her face and the thought of her children first. Amy is an inspiration. From a life-shattering diagnosis to a mother whose arms are always full, Amy’s story shows that even in despair, there is hope. And when we are faced with what seems to be the end, our children are our future.
“I can’t help but laugh at how my life has gone,” Amy says. “And I can’t thank my husband enough for being there through it all. There has been so much suffering and so many trials up to this point, but all of this has brought so much joy and trust in God. If there is anything I have [learned] from it all, it is this: Never take life for granted, no matter how small or big.”