Sara Chivers and her young son Alfie have both been diagnosed with brain cancer within months of each other, in an extremely rare case. Picture: Screengrab/7:30.
Sara Chivers and her young son Alfie have both been diagnosed with brain cancer within months of each other, in an extremely rare case. Picture: Screengrab/7:30.

Mum’s heartbreaking letter to family

A MELBOURNE mother whose son was diagnosed with brain cancer just seven months after she was told she also had the disease has shared a heartbreaking letter with her family.

Sara Chivers, 34, was told in March she had a terminal form of brain cancer after beating the disease once in 2008, The New Daily reports.

The shock news was followed by a second devastating blow in October when Chivers, along with her husband Leigh, were told their 18-month-old son, Alfie, had another from of brain cancer after a suspected teething infection turned out to be a tumour the size of a pear.

The odds of mother and son having different types of brain cancer at the same time have been described by doctors as "extremely rare" and less likely than winning Powerball.

Chivers said her son's diagnosis has given her "something else to fight for" adding "it's not about me any more. It's about him."

Sara Chivers with her husband Leigh and young sons, Hugh and Alfie. Picture: Facebook
Sara Chivers with her husband Leigh and young sons, Hugh and Alfie. Picture: Facebook

 

The emotional letter begins by describing her personality to her two young sons, including how her favourite perfume is Michael Kors and her favourite meal is spaghetti bolognese.

"I know your Dad, and our village of family and friends, will keep me alive for you as much as they can, but there are some things I want you to hear from me," she writes.

"Don't be afraid of expressing your emotions. I will never tire of hearing 'I love you' from Leigh, you boys, my family, friends."

"Heartbroken doesn't come close to describing the pain I feel at not being in your lives in the future, but I would never change or forego the time we have spent together and the immense joy you have brought me. You are without a doubt my proudest accomplishments."

She encourages Alfie and his older brother Hugh, 3, to try their best and not to fear failure or change in life. She tells them to be brave and believe in themselves, while looking after their father once she is gone.

Sara Chivers and her husband Leigh have shared their heartbreaking story with 7:30. Picture: 7:30/Screengrab.
Sara Chivers and her husband Leigh have shared their heartbreaking story with 7:30. Picture: 7:30/Screengrab.

 

"Be kind to your Dad. It won't be easy for him raising you alone, but every decision he makes will be with your best interests at heart. He is an exceptional father and role model. Don't let him doubt himself or the wonderful job he will do shaping you into the men I dream of you growing up to be."

"There will come a time when he wants to find happiness again with a new partner. Accept and embrace his choice, and know she will be a positive female influence in your lives too.

MORE: Read the full letter at The New Daily

The love letter ends with a note that her husband Leigh is the "most admirable, courageous man I have ever known. He is my companion, my rock, my everything. He has shown true grit in the face of our adversities, and without him beside me I would have crumbled."

"I will be forever grateful for the time we spent together, the memories we created, the love we shared. It was always him. Always will be."

Chivers is battling a brain cancer called glioma which has returned in three separate tumours after a previous episode in 2008.

Her son Alfie's cancer is called atypical teratoid rhabdoid and is an unrelated form that comes with a one in three million chance of getting the disease.

Neurosurgeon Bhadu Kavar told 7:30 he had never seen another parent and child with the same condition at the same time, likening it to lightning striking the same place twice.

Chivers said she is heartbroken her young son may not get to experience the years of life she has had.

"It just haunts me because I knew that that was the start of our lives never going to be the same again. This wasn't even on the scale of my worst fears," she told 7:30

Donations can be made to the Brain Cancer Foundation or Carrie Bickmore's Beanies for Brain Cancer.


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