- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 10, 2005

LONDON (Agence France-Presse) — A mother who found out she had cancer after becoming pregnant sacrificed her life for her unborn baby by refusing an abortion and chemotherapy, a British newspaper reported.

Devout Catholic Bernadette Mimura, known as Milai, shunned the potentially life-saving treatment because doctors told her it would kill the child, the Northern Echo regional daily reported Friday.

The 37-year-old, a native of the Philippines who lived near Stockton-on-Tees in northeast England with her British partner, Adam Taylor, survived long enough to see the birth of their son, Nathan.


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But soon after seeing him baptized, she was transferred to a hospice and died about a week later.

“Being a Catholic, for her abortion was out of the question,” Mr. Taylor told the newspaper. “It was a tough decision, but the decision was we could not give up on Nathan.”



The boy, now 4 months old, was premature but was born fit and healthy.

The mother had been given a mild form of chemotherapy to suppress her breast cancer and the baby had to be induced after she developed complications.

Father Alan Sheridan, who performed the baptism, told Britain’s domestic Press Association news agency: “Bernadette said the most important thing was the birth of her baby and she would not do anything to harm him.

“Having an abortion was never a consideration. I know she talked it over with Adam and because she was a Catholic, there was no way she would have done it.

“She had to judge which life was more important and she just prayed there would be a cure for cancer.”

Father Sheridan is spearheading an appeal to raise $6,490 to repatriate Mrs. Mimura’s body to the Philippines for burial. Money left over will help her other three children from a first marriage.

The priest said he hoped the Manila government would help with a grant to fly the three youngsters from Britain for the ceremony.

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