A New York family of four was preparing to celebrate the adoption of three girls and an impeding pregnancy last Christmas when Kim Vaillancourt began suffering from a terrible headache. On December 27, Kim checked in to the hospital where doctors discovered two brain tumors and diagnosed her with grade 4 glioblastoma, WTSP.com reported.

“If it wasn’t for the baby, she probably would’ve never gone to the hospital,” Phil Vaillancourt, Kim’s husband, told WTSP.com. “With her severe headache and nausea and she would’ve laid in bed thinking it was the flu, and she would’ve possibly not been here today. We definitely feel that God put that baby in her for a reason; pretty much to save her life.”

Kim underwent emergency surgery at Buffalo General Medical Center to remove the tumors, but she cannot undergo radiation and chemotherapy due to the pregnancy. Dr. Ajay Abad of Roswell Park Cancer Institute told WTSP that without the treatment, the tumors will grow back within 8 to 12 weeks, and she likely only has six to eight months to live.

“The baby gave me a chance. I’ve got to give the baby a chance,” Kim told the news station. For now, the plan is for Kim to have an MRI every two weeks to watch for tumors, and she will begin radiation and chemotherapy a few weeks after delivering her baby on May 16.

“It is sort of a race against time,” Abad told WTSP.

The rest of the family, which include Ryan, 12, Hailey, 11, Kamila, 10, Josie, 7, and Charlie, 6, are taking on more chores to help out as they try to process what is happening to Kim. Two of the children require homeschooling and Josie was born without arms or legs.

“I know it’s happening for a reason. I just don’t know what the reason is,” Ryan told WTSP.

Kim wants to live long enough to see her kids graduate, get married and start their own lives, but patients with grade 4 glioblastoma are often given one year to live.

“I’m in one of two places,” Kim told WTSP. “I either get to stay with Phil and the kids and live a long life. Or I get to go home and be with Jesus. I’m OK. [Phil’s] the one that’s stuck holding everything and trying to juggle all of this craziness.”

While the family is relying on prayer, the financial needs of five children and Kim’s medical bills are growing, and a friend has set up a GoFundMe account to fundraise.

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