Widow Who Lost Husband To Rare Cancer Shares She's Pregnant With His Baby Two Years Later

Jan 31, 2023 by apost team

A widow whose husband died of cancer in 2021 has fulfilled his dreams of having a family even after his passing. 

Mariah Smith of Haverhill, Massachusetts, will be a first-time mother after announcing in September 2022 that she’s pregnant with a baby girl with her beloved departed husband, Chris Smith. Through an IVF procedure, Mariah was able to conceive using her husband’s frozen sperm.

Mariah was already with Chris when he was diagnosed with sinus cancer in 2018. It was not the first time Chris dealt with cancer because he beat the disease as a child. 

However, the recurring cancer was considered a rare type, yet Chris was still optimistic about his chances of beating it. Mariah, however, admitted in an interview with Boston 25 News in 2020 that it was a struggle to fight a rare disease. 

“It’s hard because we hear the words rare so often, no playbook, we don’t know how to go by this.” 

However, before he got into chemotherapy, Chris wanted to have his sperm frozen in case the cancer treatments left him unable to have kids with Mariah. They planned on growing their family when he went into remission.

The couple’s plans changed when Chris found out that his cancer had metastasized to his spinal cord and brain. Though he proceeded to fight the disease, he and Mariah talked about preserving his sperm so she could use it for IVF treatments and carry their baby even after he was no longer around. 

Chris took care of the legalities of their plans, knowing he may not survive his disease. Mariah also made a promise to her husband that she would go after this dream of having children together.

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In February 2021, Chris succumbed to the disease at 27 years old, leaving Mariah a widow at 24. The summer following his death, she got started on fulfilling her husband’s wish. In her essay on Business Insider, Mariah said:

"Before he passed, I promised him I'd chase our dream of having kids."

She added, “I made myself as healthy and whole as possible. I knew that if I was well, our chances of conception were higher.” 

Becoming pregnant with Chris’ baby also helped her heart and soul feel alive despite losing her husband. 

“I knew I still had that piece of him. I had the option to have our own family, even though it’d look very different than I’d anticipated. I could keep him alive in this way for our family and friends.”

Despite making her body healthy and well, Mariah still struggled with getting pregnant and suffered a miscarriage. However, after an IUI and then three rounds of IVF treatment, she finally received the good news that she was heavy with Chris’ child. 

Mariah and Chris’ daughter is due in the spring of 2023, and her birth plans include having the baby’s grandmothers on both sides of the family present in the delivery room. In her conversations with Chris before he died, Mariah told him that his kids will know of their dad and recognize him from his pictures. 

“Chris and I had plenty of conversations about how we would parent, and I feel prepared to do what he would have wanted.”

Meanwhile, Mariah has been charting her pregnancy journey on Facebook and received a lot of support from friends and family. Her friends said:

“So happy for you and I know Chris is up there smiling on you both.” 

“Daddy is watching over her.” 


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What do you think of the couple’s plans to have a child even if the baby’s dad is no longer alive? Do you know of someone with a similar experience? Let us know, and pass this along to tell your friends about this interesting story!

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