Aurora family celebrates mom's medical miracle this Mother's Day

Aurora family celebrates mom's medical miracle

AURORA, Ill. (CBS) -- On this Mother's Day, an Aurora family is celebrating what they consider to be a medical miracle.

As CBS 2's Jackie Kostek reported, this update to a story we first brought you a year ago shows what can happen when you keep hope alive.

It has been one year since we first met Chris, Alyssa, and Colin Kelly, as they cherished Alyssa's first Mother's Day – knowing a second was far from guaranteed.

"I never thought I was going to make it this far," said Alyssa Kelly.

"It feels really good to get over that hurdle," said Chris Kelly, "because we heard a lot of bad news in the beginning."

The bad news started about two years ago, when Alyssa was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer while pregnant with son Colin. She immediately started treatment - and Colin was born healthy in August 2021.


But Alyssa's cancer had progressed. At the time, she was considered inoperable.

"It was really just reaching out to groups, and you know, I found a lot of other people who were told the same things," said Chris. "When you're in the ultimate battle of life, you meet people that don't want to accept 'no.' That's what led us to California."

Out West was where the miracle started. After first being told no - Alyssa's tumor was too big to operate on - Alyssa had a phenomenal response to second line chemo. This created window of opportunity.

"I just remember getting that phone call at work and calling her and telling her – and then driving home. It was like the first time I was happy in a really long time," said Chris.

"When he called me, he's like, 'Pack your bags, we're out going to California,'" said Alyssa, "and I got the phone call from the doctor, and he said, 'I can do the surgery.'"

One 10-hour surgery later, the miracle was taking root. Clear margins meant the surgeons were able to remove the tumor without leaving visible signs of cancer.

"Everything went really good," Alyssa said, "and now I feel like I'm like a real mom."

Alyssa says being Colin's mom is what has kept her going through 35 rounds of chemotherapy. Her health is not a given, but her most recent scans showed continued improvement.

"I just don't know what tomorrow's going to be," Alyssa said. "I could go from being healthy to not feeling good the next day."

With the unpredictability of the future comes gratitude for the moment, and what's possible for the family right now.

"We went to Morton Arboretum – and you know, it was like a family day - and I was like: 'This is what families do. This is nice. This is nice.'"

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