A teenage mother, who was diagnosed with cancer while seven months pregnant, has died. Dana Scatton was just a few days shy of her 18th birthday when she welcomed baby girl Aries Marie in January of 2018. Just months earlier, in November, Scatton was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma or DIPG, an inoperable brain tumor.
“This morning shortly before 4am, Dana left us to be with the lord,” her family wrote on Facebook this week. “We may never have the right things to say to truly honor the amazing, smart, loving, caring, passionate, incredibly beautiful and free spirited mother, daughter, niece, sister, cousin, friend and independent woman Dana was every day.”
Scatton, the youngest of nine children, was given just three to nine months to live when she was diagnosed. 90 percent of those diagnosed with DIPG die within 18 months. Immediate treatment may have helped her to live longer than doctors expected, but radiation could have harmed her preborn daughter. Therefore, she chose to wait as long as she could before beginning treatment.
Baby Aries was born by emergency C-section at 33 weeks gestation and was breathing on her own. Scatton’s health continued to decline, though she fought hard. She lived for about 17 months from the time of her diagnosis and her focus the entire time was to beat cancer and be with her daughter, who was often by her side in the hospital.
“She inspired us all to be better than who we are and to keep God in our focus at every moment,” said her family. “She faced the greatest fear of all, death, and smiled back with a grin only God can instill. She fought harder than the toughest warriors known to man and did it with grace and valor.”
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