Kim Vaillancourt was extremely excited when she and her husband, Phil, decided to adopt three sisters after fostering them for three years.
But just 48 hours after the adoption, the 36-year-old woman — who’s 20 weeks pregnant — starting suffering from severe headaches. Kim — initially thinking they were just migraines — found out on December 27 that she had tumors on her brain stem and left frontal lobe of her brain, WGRZ reported.
After eight hours of emergency surgery to remove the tumors, the family found out that she had Grade 4 glioblastoma; a fast-growing and aggressive cancer.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Kim & Phil Have Been Married 15 Years
Kim and Phil, 37, have been married for 15 years and reside — with their children — in Buffalo, New York.
Kim Eisenhauer, Kim’s youngest of three sisters told KHOU.
“You say you want to get married to marry your best friend, that is Kim and Phil.”
Prior to the family’s tragic news, they were ecstatic at the thought of increasing their brood.
“This was such a joyful time for our family,” he told WGRZ.
However, roughly 48 hours after adopting three sisters, Kim began experiencing what she thought were migraines, which was soon diagnosed as terminal cancer.
2. The Pregnancy Saved Her Life
Phil, 37, told WGRZ that if it weren’t for Kim’s pregnancy, he believes she could’ve died a lot sooner.
“If it wasn’t for the baby, she probably would’ve never gone to the hospital 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.”
The news station reported that Kim won’t be getting chemotherapy or radiation until her baby’s delivered. The baby boy — who they are naming Wyatt Eli — which is due to be delivered on April 25. Daily Mail reported that Kim would “won’t start radiation and chemotherapy until a few weeks after the baby is born in May.” Life expectancy for someone with her diagnosis is reportedly a little over a year with treatment. Without treatment, Kim would only have six to eight months to live, according to US Magazine. However, in “rare cases,” patients could make it 10 to 20 years, reported WGRZ.
3. Kim & Phil Have 5 Children & Soon to Be 6
Phil and Kim have 5 children; two are biological; Ryan, 12, and Hailey, 11. Josie — born without any arms or legs — is 7. Kamilia is 10 and Charlie is 6. Kim and Phil began to foster Josie, Kamilia and Charlie three years ago. Kim informed KHOU that she’d rather not leave Phil with “six kids and one of them being super sick,” according to KHOU.
Phil is working full time to support his family during this important time of need. He’s taken on homeschooling two of the children and house chores.
“I want to see my kids get married. I want to see them graduate. I want to see them go to college. The big stuff,” Kim explained to KHOU.
4. The Tumors Were Removed But Will Reportedly Grow Back
Despite the tumors being removed, they are expected to grow back. The couple’s plan is to have Kim undergoing MRIs every two weeks.
“As long as the scans come back ‘clean,’ we are blessed with another day that baby boy Wyatt can grow. Wyatt gave me a chance, and I am going to give him a chance,” Kim told US Weekly.
5. A GoFundMe Account Was Set Up to Raise Money for Medical Bills
A family friend of the couple — Jenna Koch — set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for her medical bills. In two months, it has now surpassed $131,000; just shy of the $150,000 goal.