NRL News

Fighting inoperative brain cancer, teen delivers “miracle baby”

by | Jan 31, 2018

Dana Scatton says, “This battle has already been won”

By Dave Andrusko

People magazine categorized Dana Scatton’s story under “human interest,” which surely qualifies as the understatement of 2018.

This incredibly brave 18-year-old gave birth January 4th to Aries Marie, less than a month after receiving a diagnosis that she had an inoperative brain tumor.

A month before her diagnosis of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), the deadliest brain cancer, Dana began to feel symptoms. She attributed them to her pregnancy or the stress at being a college freshman.

“I was really overtired,” Dana, who turns 18 on Jan. 12, told The Daily Advertiser. “But things kept getting worse. I was forgetting to swallow and my speech got weird. Then my legs started not responding to things — when I would walk, my legs would drag. That’s when I really got concerned.”

An MRI taken December 10th revealed Dana had a 2.3-centimeter brain tumor on the base of her brain which proved to be malignant.

Two days later, accompanied by her mother, Lenore Scatton, she went to discuss plans for treatment with doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia [CHOP]. People reported.

It was then that she asked Dr. Jean Belasco, a pediatric oncologist, what the survival rate was — and she was told “there is none.”

The Daily Mail Online’s Kayla Brantley [] reported, “Dana said the first thing that went through her mind when she heard the diagnosis was: ‘Is my baby going to be okay?’ Her mother Lenore, 51, told Daily Mail Online she had a similar thought: ‘Am I going to lose my baby?’

But the family didn’t lose faith.

It was a lot to take in, but we prayed and thanked God in the office that day, Lenore said.

In a beautiful story, written by Shari Puterman for the Daily Advertiser, we learn

The week before Christmas, Dana returned to CHOP for radiation mapping and additional appointments. At that point, she had decided to deliver her baby early and start radiation immediately after that.

But Dana’s symptoms rapidly progressed. She could no longer go up and down the stairs at home and her breathing was becoming compromised.

On Christmas Day, she was admitted to the hospital – and the next day, doctors decided to start radiation without delivering the baby early.

“I feel like God just directed the doctors to help decide what I should do,” Dana says. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start radiation without having the baby because I didn’t want it to hurt her. But I couldn’t decide what to do – it was too hard.”

Doctors were very reassuring that the radiation wouldn’t harm the baby.

And they were right.

Eight days after Dana began radiation, Aries Marie was born a month early weighing 4 lb., 6 oz. Doctors confirmed that the treatment had not harmed her baby.

“I am just the most proudest mother ever,” Dana wrote in a Facebook post after the birth of her daughter. “She honestly is stronger than me and I mean that. God has been working wonders in my life and has been carrying us to the victory line. This battle already has been won.”

In the conclusion of her story, Puterman writes

“For the past four or five years,” Dana says, “I always felt like people would remember my name … that I was gonna do something super big for everyone else. I thought maybe I would be a singer and spread the word. But that wasn’t God’s plan. But … I realize that this is what it was about. I never knew you could feel so strongly about something, that you’re gonna do something, and you don’t even know what it’s for. I always wanted to figure out what it was. Now that it’s here, I am trying to figure out what God wants me to do with it. But he’ll tell me.

In her latest Facebook post [January 29], Dana reminds us

So let’s take the time to not take the small things for granted like putting your own hair up, to opening your own bottle of water or even tying your own shoe. It’s the little things that count, and the important things that can’t be ignored. Thanking God every second, every hour of the day. He is worthy and capable of all things.

Categories: Birth