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Oct 15, 2013 1:25 AM by Rebecca Taylor

Woman diagnosed with cervical cancer while pregnant, urges others to get pap tests

TUCSON - A Tucson family whose daughter was diagnosed with cervical cancer while pregnant, has given birth to a healthy baby girl.

The new mom is now focused on staying alive with life-saving surgery.

Sara Megenhardt wants women to learn from her story and get annual pap tests.

When detected early cervical cancer is highly curable.

Technology helps mom and daughter stay connected, on their mobile phones they use Facetime to see and talk.

At 24, Sara Megenhardt is preparing for a hysterectomy out of state. A second pregnancy is impossible.

Sara's mom, Marty Megenhardt says, "It's heartbreaking, it's heartbreaking, she's a mother."

"It's like a sucker punch to the gut, knocks the wind out of you," says Sara's father Bruce Megenhardt, "It's unbelievable."

After becoming pregnant, during Sara's initial exam doctors detected signs of cervical cancer but delayed treatment to bring baby Abbex to term.

"She's 4 months old, she was premature," says Marty, "They took her early because Sara has preeclampsia."

Sara says, "Even when she's grumpy, she's perfect, she's my whole world."

"She's a wiggler, got a million dollar smile, you just can't help but love her to death," says Bruce.

The family calls baby Abbex a hero for saving Sara's life. Without becoming pregnant, Sara's cancer would have gone undetected much longer.

"The shame of it is, her mother's a nurse," says Marty talking about herself. She's an RN at a Tucson hospital.

"She's 24, a lot of young women think it's not going to happen to me," says Marty.

"I just want people to know, go do your pap smear when you're supposed to do your pap smears," says Sara, "Right now the hardest thing is going through chemo, surgeries with a four month old, and I have a partner who lost her job."

To raise money for Sara's medical bills a donation fund has been set up, for more information click here.

Also Marty's colleagues from Northwest Medical Center are holding a fundraiser at Union Public House on November 8th, it goes from 5-10pm.

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