In 2011, Suzanne Kane had a bright future to look forward to. She was engaged to a handsome rock drummer named Jimmi, and the two of them were excited to try for the daughter they wanted to complete their family. But after she was diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer, that future quickly became uncertain.
When Suzanne saw Dr. Mario Leitao, a gynecological surgeon and Director of Robotic Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering, he and the pathology team identified her cancer as small cell carcinoma of the cervix and, given how rare and aggressive he knew her cancer was, gave her one rule: Don’t Google it.
- Suzanne was diagnosed with a rare and highly aggressive form of cervical cancer.
- Because she wanted a daughter, the news that she needed radiation, chemotherapy, and a total hysterectomy was devastating.
- MSK doctors created a treatment plan that allowed her to have her eggs harvested before treatment.
- Suzanne’s treatment was planned around her October 2011 wedding, which went off without a hitch.
- A few years after treatment, and with the help of a gestational surrogate, Suzanne and her new husband, Jimmi, welcomed daughter Aria.
Through chemotherapy, radiation and a radical hysterectomy, Suzanne never lost sight of her most important goal: the child she and Jimmi were determined to have together. When doctors at other hospitals explained the severity of Suzanne’s diagnosis required the removal of her uterus, ovaries and some of her lymph nodes, throwing her into menopause at age 36, she thought that she’d never be able to have a baby. At MSK, Dr. Leitao thought otherwise.
Together, he and Suzanne worked to safely delay her surgery long enough to allow her to have her eggs harvested and frozen for later use by a gestational surrogate. After this fertility-sparing procedure was complete, Dr. Leitao performed the robotic radical hysterectomy that would save her life.
Suzanne’s diagnosis threatened her future. But with the treatment she received, she was able to do everything she’d dreamed of before cancer became part of her life. She and Jimmi were married just as they planned, in a fun, offbeat ceremony featuring rock musicians and tattoo artists.
And most importantly, in 2014, a carrier helped them welcome Aria, the daughter they’d been waiting for.