Double tragedy: Mother with terminal cancer fights for baby

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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NEEDING A MIRACLE:  Time is running out for Diana as she hangs on to life in order to care for her critically ill and premature little girl.

NEEDING A MIRACLE: Time is running out for Diana as she hangs on to life in order to care for her critically ill and premature little girl.

A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in this world.

But what if the mother’s life is in danger too? 

That’s precisely the predicament Diana Seveali’i, a Samoan based in Wellington, New Zealand, has found herself in. 

Diana, sister of former Manu Samoa star, Elvis Seveali’i, gave birth to a baby girl, Brooklyn. 

It was meant to be one of the happiest moments of her life. 

But there were complications. Not only was she born premature, she was also diagnosed with a serious heart condition. 

While receiving the worst news a mother could imagine, and facing the reality that her daughter’s life is already in danger before it has begun, Diana was hit with more tragic news.

She was told shortly after giving birth that she had terminal cervical cancer. 

At 36 years old, Diana is confronting her own mortality as well the reality that she will not be there for the challenges Brooklyn will face in the oncoming months and years. 

While she nurses and cares for her fragile little girl, Diana herself needs urgent medical care and support.

"It breaks my heart knowing I am leaving her," she told the New Zealand Herald on Sunday. “I have only just got her, It was definitely shocking, they've given me weeks basically.”

In the wake of the heartbreaking news, Diana is urging women, particularly Pacific women, to get regular smear tests done as often as possible to prevent a situation like hers.

"I know it's every three years [you should get a smear test] but if you are in my situation, have them more often and get a second opinion if you are not sure,” she said.

 “It's probably not a thing Pacific women would put on their list of priorities but it’s important. It can save your life."

The young mother has decided to forego chemotherapy and is relying on natural remedies and a miracle to prolong her life so that she can spend as much quality time with her baby girl at Auckland’s Starship Hospital.

"I have to face it the best way I can for Brooklyn and my family and that is to live life."

Devastated yet determined, Diana’s family has gathered resources and all their might to rally their support around mother and daughter as they fight for their lives.

Family member, Berhampore Peleti, has set up a Givealittle page on Facebook to help raise money in assisting with Diana and Brooklyn’s living and medical costs, financial arrangements in the event Diana does not respond to treatment and also to contribute towards Brooklyn’s future.

The Givealitte page reads:

 “We are a proud family of faith and together with Di, have braced ourselves to fight this cancer with all our might and resources but we also know that we cannot do this alone. The financial considerations around Di's ongoing treatment combined with the care for Brooklyn's needs are almost overwhelming but we are determined as a family to go to any lengths to ensure both get the care and support they both desperately need.”

To donate, or learn more, visit: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/di-and-brooklyn

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