The “Boskie Matki” (“Divine Mothers”) program is a unique initiative supporting pregnant women diagnosed with cancer. Some doctors in such situations still tend to suggest termination of pregnancy before starting any cancer treatment. It does not have to be that way. The program enables access to the top experts (oncologists, gynecologists) to help every woman make her own informed decision on whether to save or terminate pregnancy. We provide pregnant cancer patients with comprehensive medical, psychological, rehabilitation and even stylist assistance. Cancer treatment does not have to exclude pregnancy. You can undergo cancer treatment when you are pregnant, you can give birth to a healthy baby when you have cancer.
Idea behind the Divine Mothers
Those are the words of Magda Prokopowicz, the founder of the Rak’n’Roll Foundation. In 2009, they translated into the idea of Divine Mothers — women who are brave enough to oppose the system encouraging them to terminate the pregnancy, in the name of love to their unborn children. Facing such dramatic circumstances, they still have the courage to make their own choice. They are brave, wonderful, full of love — they are truly divine.
Magda was the first to bring the subject of pregnant cancer patients to the public debate. After her own struggle for her pregnancy and cancer treatment, she would speak out her belief that “when you have cancer, you can still live and even give life”. Leon was born a healthy boy and was her true blessing.
Still, about ¾ pregnant women diagnosed with cancer hear, often repeatedly, that they should terminate the pregnancy before they start any cancer treatment. According to both academic research and the experience of oncologists, pregnancy is not a contraindication to chemotherapy. You can undergo cancer treatment and give birth to a healthy baby.
We are talking about a problem, which is a dramatic personal dilemma, but is becoming a more and more social issue. The number of pregnant women diagnosed with cancer increases every year, with the increase of cancer incidence with age and late motherhood on the rise. What we need more and more urgently is a systemic solution to this problem.
The Rak’n’Roll Foundation launched a comprehensive pregnant cancer patients support program named “Boskie Matki” (“Divine Mothers”). Girls can count on any possible kind of assistance: oncological, gynecological, psychological, obstetric, rehabilitation and even stylist. We want to give them everything they need. Magda’s dream was to create a place where pregnant cancer patients would find support and professional care. She was not able to realize this dream on her own. It is our great satisfaction to do it on her behalf.
In 2016 we initiated a project aimed at developing a set of standard procedures to follow when pregnant women are diagnosed with cancer. Led by Professor Miroslaw Wielgos, the Rector of the Medical University of Warsaw, the Head of the 1st Department and Clinic of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the National Consultant in the field of Perinatology, the President of the Polish Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, and Professor Maciej Krzakowski, the National Consultant in the field of Oncology, 25 experts in oncology, gynecology and obstetrics worked for 1.5 year on the “Standards in diagnostics and treatment of pregnant cancer patients”. This document released in 2017 helps promote knowledge on prenatal care simultaneous with oncological care, indicates specialized healthcare facilities where Divine Mothers can find support and emphasizes the importance of oncological awareness, typically diminished during pregnancy.
After we launched the “Boskie Matki” program, we were contacted by more and more women during or after their oncological treatment, who wished to fall pregnant. We can see a great and urgent need for systemic changes in this field, since the problem of fertility preservation during cancer treatment affects a large group of patients, i.e. young adults aged 20-44.
The Rak’n’Roll Foundation raises funds to cover the current costs of program operation. You can support the “Boskie Matki” program by donating money to the Foundation’s bank account: Boskie Matki: 57 1140 2017 0000 4902 1308 7103
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