Hairdresser Julie Bradford, 44, says she feels lucky “to have been given the chance to put things right” after several years of bad news and worry over daughter Jessica’s illness
Brave Julie Bradford, 44, says she feels lucky “to have been given the chance to put things right” after several years of bad news and worry.
Daughter Jessica, 21, had her eggs frozen three years ago before the treatment began – and now her own mother has given birth to her healthy baby three years later.
Baby Jack was born weighing 6lb 10oz to Julie – who is now BOTH his birth mother and proud grandmother.
Proud Jess said: “My mam is the most brave and amazing woman in the world. I love her so much for giving me my son.
“From a young age I longed to become a mother and our dream has come true.
“Jack is perfect in every way.”
Jess, of Rhymney, Gwent, was rushed to hospital in 2013 – when she claims doctors told her she was too young to have cancer.
Indeed, initially she was told she had a sexually transmitted disease and only further tests revealed the truth.
Mobile hairdresser Jess said: “At hospital I had a biopsy and within three days they told me that I had cancer.
“It took two weeks before they knew how far it had spread.
“After a scan confirmed that the cancer was in my lymph nodes and I was told that I would never have children.”
But doctors gave her chance to freeze her eggs for a chance of a baby in the future – and her brave mother offered to be her surrogate.
Jess said: “They managed to take 21 eggs before I started chemo but only 10 survived and they were made into embryos and grown for two weeks then frozen.
“Then in May this year we had an embryo defrosted and implanted into my mother’s womb for her to be the little oven helping our Jelly Bean grow.”
Jess and husband Rees Jenkins were delighted when Julie became the surrogate – and were there when little Jack was born on December 2.
She announced the birth on Facebook and told her friends: “We are very proud parents.”
Jess is now in remission and attends regular check ups and scans to ensure the cancer has not returned.
She is also campaigning for smear tests for young women to spot health problems earlier.
Her hairdresser mum Julie – who has three children of her own – said: “The last three years have been the absolute worst.
“But I was lucky enough to have been given the chance to put things right.
“I watched Jess in such agony and so full of fear and I just wished I could take her place.
“There was nothing I could do to help and it felt like the cancer was in control and I felt useless.
“I’ve always known from a young age Jess has longed to become a mother just like I did.
“When cancer took the chance away for her to carry her own child away we were all heartbroken.
“I decided that if I could be Jess’ surrogate then I would have the control again.
“I was given the chance to carry Jessica and Rees’ child and it was an honour.
“We’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals and it has become normal to us.
“I’m just so happy that this last visit was for such a wonderful reason.”