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New mother beats brain cancer twice

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PHOENIX -

A valley mother not only beat the odds once, but twice.  She survived after being diagnosed with two brain tumors and lived longer than doctors had thought.

Given just months to live in 2006, Heather Knies has beat brain cancer twice and now shares her story of hope.

"Six years later, here I am cancer free."

She has a lot to celebrate.  In just six years, she's married and become a mother to Zoe who is 10 months old.

"With all the chemo with women, the reproductive organs are compromised and so I was on chemo for three years so they thought for sure after three years I wouldn't be able to have a child," she said.

Chances were slim, but with IVF, baby Zoe became a reality.  When she was diagnosed, she suffered from extreme headaches with odd visual effects, but here she is.

Through it all, Heather stunned her doctors.  Her strength through it all was just incredible considering the type of cancer she had.

"When you have diagnosed of this type of cancer, you're given one to two years.  It's as malignant of a cancer that we have," said Dr. Robert Spetzler, director of Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital.

"You never think it's going to happen and when it does, it truly changes perspective on life.  I literally wake up and thank God for giving me another day," said Heather.

Heather outlived what doctors had expected making this year especially significant for this new young mother.


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