Breast cancer survivor celebrates the birth of her ‘miracle’ baby


If there is one message Allison Roberts would like to shout to the world it would be a simple one. “Never give up hope.”

And if anyone ever had a reason to give up hope it would be this 38-year –old woman. Diagnosed with breast cancer at 32, in 2002, Allison put much of her life on hold, including her desire for a second child, while she fought the battle of her life.

Her cancer was aggressive and so to combat it, Allison underwent equally aggressive chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments. She had to travel for radiation, which meant leaving her husband Marty at home while she and her young son Tyler traveled to Toronto for the week. She was exhausted, bald, frightened and the sickest she’d ever been in her life, but she had the will to survive. 

After her bout with breast cancer and the toll that treatment took on her, Allison pondered the thought of adding that desired second child. Two previous miscarriages–one prior to diagnosis and one two years after her treatment ended–made her feel that, perhaps, the statistics of a successful pregnancy just weren’t on her side.

After much discussion with her team of physicians and some research of their own, Allison and Marty decided to try to conceive. They believed that if it was meant to be it would simply happen. How pleased they were when they found out that Taryn would be their newest member in the family. “I was so thrilled to be having a girl; I told Marty that he was in so much trouble with a little girl to steal his heart.”

It is with this excitement and some anxiety that a six-month pregnant cancer survivor decided to submit her story to “A Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors”, a writing contest for breast cancer survivors. Allison’s story, “Never Say Never”, captured her fear and anxiety of the uncertainty of a pregnancy and the pure joy of adding this long awaited baby to their family. Her submission was selected with 49 others and was published in September 2008 in the book released by Adams Media Publishing. Proudly, her story is one of three Canadians published in the book.

Allison’s message hasn’t changed for the young women that are facing a breast cancer diagnosis and would still like to have more children. She still believes in “holding on to hope.” Allison Roberts has formed Pink Strokes, a support group for young women diagnosed with breast cancer and N.O.YS. (Network of Young Survivors) a sub-network of young women who host an annual educational workshop to support other young women in our community.

This past December, Allison celebrated being six years cancer free with Tyler, now 9 and her miracle baby girl, Taryn, now ten months. Truly Allison is a woman who can say “Never give up hope.” 

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