Miracle Baby Brings Hope 

Miracle Baby Brings Hope 
Alayna Fetterly


Alexandria resident Alayna Fetterly, for all intensive purposes is an average 24 year old, joyfully experiencing the magical milestones that often accompany a young woman in her 20s.

She was engaged in Mexico in February, bought a house and the good news continued with news of miracle pregnancy, after being told she and her fiancé could not conceive without help from fertility specialists. The ecstatic young couple began planning for a wedding and prepping for their exciting new beginnings. “Everything happened really fast.”

Months earlier, while recovering from hip surgery Alayna had noticed a tender spot on her arm, addressed it with her doctor and awaited a follow up appointment which happened within days of her pregnancy news.

Her orthopedic surgeon originally thought it was a lipoma and took a sample to be sent to the lab, a few hours after leaving her appointment he called and said “it wasn’t sitting well with him” and he wanted the it removed sooner than later; pregnancy limits the amount of investigation they can safely take without harm to the baby; 5 days later she was scheduled for a routine, fairly simple surgery…on what would have been the week of their postponed wedding. 20 minutes before that surgery began she was advised the tumor was an aggressive form of malignant sarcoma. Faced with a decision that would effect the remainder of her and her unborn child’s life, she had to choose quickly-remove the tumor and wait until after the baby is born to begin radiation or remove the entire deltoid muscle to increase the chance of eliminating the cancer spreading and begin radiation after the baby arrives.

“I asked my doctor what they would do, we have a good relationship, I trust him. As a CHEO nurse I know how this goes and I wanted the best option.” A 1 hour surgery turned into a 4 hour surgery removing the entire muscle and she’s been in physiotherapy 3 times a week in Ottawa since.

The challenges have continued, she has become severely anemic and now travels to Ottawa 5 days a week for various treatments, nevertheless she is a bundle of positivity anxiously awaiting the arrival of their bundle of joy and the two weeks of normalcy her family will get after his birth and before her cancer treatments begin.

“I can’t say enough about our support system. I feel so so lucky.” Lucky. Alayna beamed about the support she has received both emotionally and financially in the form of gas and food gift cards and discussed the many forms of paying it forward she would like to pass along to other families dealing with similar situations and for the nurses and doctors who never rest.

And while Alayna is already planning on paying it forward and sharing her story in hopes it will encourage someone or anyone to get checked if they feel something is wrong and to proactively advocate for themselves in the health care system.

Her mother and mother in law are collecting various forms of support for the couple to get through this challenging time. “My mom, says God only gives you what you can handle. I know we can handle this.”

A basket of cheer is being raffled off for Alayna and her family, for more information please reach out to her mom, Tanya Fetterly at tanyafetterly@hotmail.com or her mother in law Tracy Dauner at tracydauner@outlook.com.

Share this article