Miracle Mum from Alexandra Hills Overcomes Cancer to Welcome Baby Parker

Dani Donne Mater
Photo Credit: Supplied

Mum Dani Donne’s journey from joy to despair and back to joy began with the discovery of her pregnancy, swiftly followed by a breast cancer diagnosis. Living in Alexandra Hills, Dani’s world seemed to crumble seven days after the initial excitement. The lump in her breast, initially dismissed as a minor concern, turned out to be a tumour, plunging Dani and her husband Mark into a whirlwind of fear and uncertainty.

At 36, Dani had already faced the heartbreak of a miscarriage in her attempts to conceive their first child. Now, with her second pregnancy overshadowed by cancer, the future seemed bleak. Yet, Dani’s resilience shone through with the support of Mater cancer specialists and obstetricians.

“I was just five weeks pregnant when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2022,” Dani recalled, her voice tinged with the memory of fear. “I was in total shock. There was no history of breast cancer in my family. I was scared for my unborn bub and scared for myself.”

The journey ahead was daunting. Dani had HER2-positive breast cancer, a condition requiring delicate handling, especially in pregnancy. Mater Cancer Care Centre Senior Medical Oncologist, Dr Catherine Shannon, explained the challenges posed by Dani’s condition.

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“She was only seven weeks pregnant when I first met her,” Dr Shannon recalled. “You can’t safely give chemotherapy in pregnancy until the second trimester, so she had the surgery first as this is a safer approach early in pregnancy. Dani then had chemotherapy through her second and third trimesters, when it can be delivered safely.”

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Dani Donne Mater
Photo Credit: Supplied

Navigating cancer treatment during pregnancy wasn’t easy, but Dani’s determination never wavered. She faced chemotherapy while carrying her precious Parker, who arrived four weeks early at Mater Mothers’ Hospital. Holding her newborn daughter, Dani’s fears melted away, replaced by overwhelming love and gratitude.

“I think I stressed the entire pregnancy that something would go wrong,” Dani admitted. Yet, with the support of Mater’s dedicated team, she found solace and strength throughout her cancer journey.

Reflecting on her experience, Dani praised Mater for their exceptional care and support. Mater Cancer Care Clinical Nurse Consultant, Esther White, highlighted Dani’s engagement with her treating team, emphasizing the importance of holistic care during such challenging times.

Despite the trials Dani faced, her spirit remained unbroken. She found comfort and courage with her husband, family, and friends by her side.  In the arms of her miracle baby, Parker, Dani found healing and hope. Sharing her journey with fellow mothers, Dani discovered the power of community in overcoming adversity.

Dani Donne Mater
Photo Credit: Supplied

Mater Cancer Care Clinical Nurse Consultant Esther White said Mrs Donne had been incredibly engaged with her treating team.

“This collaboration across specialist teams ensured we were able to offer holistic antenatal care that empowered Dani throughout her pregnancy and cancer treatment,” Ms White said.

“There continues to be ongoing advances in cancer research that offer hope and  reassurance – and Mater ensures our patients have access to world-class treatments including those within the clinical trial space.

“Despite a heartbreaking diagnosis of breast cancer during early pregnancy, Dani and her husband Mark were able to access evidence-based specialist care that not only offered hope but supported them in their dreams of having a family with the safe arrival of their beautiful little girl, Parker.”

Published 11-March-2024