Mother, baby doing well

Dave Stewart
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Little brothers Kash, left, and Kane McInnis of Charlottetown hang out together at the IWK Health Sciences Centre in Halifax where Kane is being cared for as his mother, Jenn, is being treated for leukemia. Kane was born 12 weeks early so Jenn could begin treatment.

Charlottetown woman diagnosed with leukemia scheduled to have stem cell transplant this month

The cancer that forced a Charlottetown mother to deliver her baby 12 weeks prematurely is in remission.

Jenn McInnis was scheduled to have eight teeth pulled Thursday, followed by four to five fillings as doctors prepare her for a stem cell transplant.

She was diagnosed in November with acute myeloid leukemia while she was pregnant with her second child.

The baby, Kane, came into the world weighing two pounds, two ounces on Jan. 8. This week, Kane was up to five pounds, six ounces, growing at a rate of almost one ounce per day.

RELATED: Charlottetown woman has baby early to allow for her leukemia treatment

Kane was being fed donated breast milk but he's moved on to formula now and is likely going to be allowed to leave the hospital by March 31, what was originally his due date.

Kane was two months old on Tuesday. Jenn and Ben also have another young son, Kash.

"He's doing alright, more than they expected a baby of his size to do,'' said Ben McInnis, Kane's father and Jenn's husband.

But, there's still a long road ahead for the family.

They've been staying in Halifax throughout their ordeal. The family spent Christmas in Jenn's hospital room and she faces at least three to four months in hospital following the transplant.

Jenn will be admitted to the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax on March 18. She will then undergo a round of chemotherapy, followed by six bouts of radiation in three days.

"Doctors are really happy with the way things are going,'' Ben McInnis said. "She still seems to be in remission which is what she needs in order to be able to go through with the transplant.''

Jenn is extremely nervous about what lies ahead, Ben says bluntly. They don't talk much about it because it upsets her.

"She's been a trooper through all of this. She's handled it great. There are times, obviously, when the stress of it all gets to her and she breaks down but she's been fantastic through 95 per cent of it.''

Ben says he's dealing with the stress as best he can, doing what he can when he can.

A benefit was held in Vernon River last month for the family.

"I have no words to describe it. I was absolutely flabbergasted,'' Ben said when asked how the benefit went.

Gwen Beck, Ben's aunt, echoes her nephew's sentiment.

"The family has been overwhelmed at the show of support, not just monetary but in every way with good deeds, love and compassion,'' Beck said.

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Organizations: Victoria General Hospital

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Halifax, Vernon River

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