A mother has a baby with her best friend as a surrogate mother after terminating the pregnancy due to a cancer diagnosis

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Lorna Cattle, 35, from Chichester, Sussex, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in November 2016 shortly after she and Dan were married; the couple knew they would always be parents “one way or another.”

Lorna, left, with her best friend Steph, who was her surrogate mother
Lorna, left, with her best friend Steph, who was her surrogate mother

A mother who terminated her pregnancy after being diagnosed with cervical cancer welcomed a baby with her best friend as a surrogate mother.

Lorna Cattle, 35, from Chichester, Sussex, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in November 2016.

Then she had to make the heartbreaking decision to terminate her pregnancy.

Lorna, who works in human resources, was cleared in November 2017 after months of radiation therapy, chemotherapy and a hysterectomy.

She and her husband Dan, 40, began seeking fertility treatment when their best friend, Steph Stretton, 36, offered to be their surrogate mother.

Steph became pregnant following an embryo transfer in February 2021 and gave birth to Joshua a month early in September 2021.

Joshua was born weighing five pounds.
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Image:

@lifeaftercervicalcancer/CATERS NEWS)

Lorna had to terminate her pregnancy after being diagnosed with cervical cancer
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Image:

@lifeaftercervicalcancer/CATERS NEWS)

Lorna said: “When I was diagnosed I was six to eight weeks pregnant and the first thing we had to decide was if it was a viable pregnancy and it wasn’t.

“We got married in the summer and starting a family was always the plan, so it was a terrible decision for us, but we were told that if it continued, neither I nor the baby would survive.

“I am a very optimistic person and I never gave up hope of being a mother.

“2019 was when we first went to visit fertility doctors and talked about our options and in 2020 Steph came forward and said she would be our surrogate mother, for which I couldn’t have been more grateful.

Lorna and Dan with their baby Joshua
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Image:

@lifeaftercervicalcancer/CATERS NEWS)

“There are no words to explain the gratitude and amazement I feel for her.

“Being a mother is surreal, Joshua is amazing and I feel extremely lucky and grateful to have him in my life.”

Lorna and Dan planned to start a family in 2017, a year after getting married in Italy.

However, Lorna’s cancer diagnosis changed everything, leaving the couple focused on their health.

From left: Lorna and Dan with their baby Joshua
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Image:

@lifeaftercervicalcancer/CATERS NEWS)

The couple still wanted to be parents “one way or another.”

Lorna added: “When I was in treatment I was just focused on getting better and didn’t want to worry about anything else, so our plans to be parents were put on hold while I recovered.

“I had an ovarian transposition and lost my cervix, which means there was no chance I could have a child.

“But I always knew we would have a family one way or another, whether it was through adoption or surrogacy.

“We froze the embryos in December 2020 and did our first transfer in February 2021.

“I never expected a friend to come forward and offer to do that for us.

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“It was a stressful lead up to the birth as Stephanie developed pre-eclampsia, but she came out perfect.”

Lorna still plans to have her friend Steph in Joshua’s life.

Joshua, who weighed five pounds at birth, just turned 16 weeks and now weighs 14 pounds.

Lorna said: “Steph lives in Cheshire so she’s away from us but she’s still one of my closest friends and we see her when we can.

“I highly recommend all women get their yearly smear tests and push for answers if something doesn’t feel right.

“I’d rather have five minutes of embarrassment than months of treatment.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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