Jai is a very special baby boy. When he was only five months along in his mother’s womb, he helped her discover something that was threatening both of their lives: cancer.
When Seema Tailor-Bulsara felt the lump in her left breast during her second trimester, she hoped it was merely a clogged milk duct — but something didn’t feel right. She saw her doctor, and he confirmed her fears: it was breast cancer. Not only that, but the cancer had already spread to her lymph nodes, and the tumor was being fed by hormones; hormones that Seema was producing in large amounts because of her pregnancy.
“I was terrified what it would mean for my baby,” Seema said. “As I got into the car with [my husband] Manesh I just burst into tears and said, ‘I’m too young to die.'”
Seema needed to have treatment as soon as possible in order to save her life and her baby’s. Seema’s medical team worked quickly. Only a week after diagnosis, Seema had her left breast removed as well as seven cancerous lymph nodes. It was a high-risk surgery, and Jai’s survival hung in the balance. But it was the best option for both mother and son.
After Seema woke from the surgery, she felt Jai kick — and she knew he’d be okay.
However, Seema still wasn’t in the clear. She had two rounds of aggressive chemo treatment while still pregnant. Then, at 34 weeks, came more panic-inducing news: her doctors told her that Jai’s growth in the womb had slowed.
She had an emergency cesarean section, and Jai was delivered into this world at only 3 pounds, 14 ounces. But miraculously, he was healthy. Seema and her husband hadn’t even known if they would even get to meet their son — since the risks were so high — so it was a victorious day for them. So much so that Seema and her husband named him “Jai” which means “victorious.” “We never thought we would see that day, so when we did it was a victory for him and us,” Seema said. “I couldn’t believe that he was really here.”
“In a way, Jai has saved my life,” she said. “The tumor was heavily dependent on hormones and the pregnancy fueled it. So Jai helped me detect it, otherwise it could have been too late before I did.”
A full CT scan post-pregnancy showed no remnants of cancer in Seema’s body. Without her pregnancy — without Jai — Seema’s odds of catching the tumor before it had spread even farther may have been too late. She was cancer-free, with a beautiful, healthy baby boy to raise and love.