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A merry Christmas for mother who delivers healthy baby girl while battling cancer

Mom's story of hope

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. -- A Southern California mother is especially grateful to be sharing her story of hope this Christmas. After receiving a scary diagnosis during her third pregnancy, she risked her own health to ensure the safety of her unborn child.

CBS News' Chris Martinez reports Jessica Dykstra was diagnosed with cancer on the same day that she learned she was having a baby girl. Hospital scans revealed she had a cancerous tumor growing on her left kidney. 

Dykstra's doctors said she needed surgery, but she was fearful that the child, her third, could be harmed in the process. 

She told her husband, Nate, she didn't "feel right about this." So the couple continued their search for more information, which led them to Dr. Georges-Pascal Haber.

Together, the Dykstras and Haber weighed the pros and cons of the operation, and they ultimately decided to delay it until after baby Hope was born. 

Jessica's labor was so quick, Hope was delivered at home before the couple could get to the hospital. 

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Nate and Jessica Dykstra with baby Hope. CBS News

Five weeks later, they traveled to the Cleveland Clinic and Dykstra underwent a partial nephrectomy. Haber said he was able to save 80 percent of her kidney while removing the cancerous tumor. 

"Her prognosis is excellent given that the whole tumor was removed, and this time, there is no sign of having any cancer left inside," Haber said.

This Christmas, the Dykstras are celebrating Hope and the gift of good health.

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