Des Moines Woman Fights Breast Cancer While Pregnant

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Like many couples, Andrea Olinger and Nathan Kolbet were excited to start a family.

“Ever since we met we talked about it and both love kids and Nathan is really good with kids so it's something we always talked about,” Andrea Olinger said.

After struggling to conceive for more than a year, they got the news they were hoping for.

“It was wonderful we tried for quite some time and we were to the point like many are at these days and ready to go in for fertility action and it just happened,” Nathan Kolbet said.

However, half way through Andrea's pregnancy at 25 weeks, she found a lump on her breasts and went in to have it looked at.

“I went into the doctor to have it checked out and see if it was something normal for pregnancy and went through some exams. They tested it and it turned out to be malignant and diagnosed me with triple negative breast cancer,” Olinger said.

The diagnosis was devastating.

“It was very overwhelming, I’ve been healthy all my life so hearing the news was very shocking and disheartening and scared because I’m pregnant with a baby,” Olinger said.

Doctors told Andrea she needed to start chemotherapy right away but she had reservations.

“You're thinking you're having all these chemicals go through your body is it affecting you and the baby, how will the outcome be,” Olinger said.

Andrea put her faith in the doctors and underwent four rounds of chemo. She's set to deliver a month early to continue treatment.

“The biggest thing now is for everything to go as planned for the delivery, so we're hoping to get in and not have any complications,” Kolbet said.

As they put the finishing touches on the nursery, the couple is staying strong, leaning on each other and looking forward to meeting their little one next week.

“I think the baby has kept me strong and I’ve had a goal to look forward to, something to look forward to through all of this,” Olinger said.

Andrea will start another round of chemo treatments in June followed by a double mastectomy in September. She said doctors are optimistic they'll be able to get all the cancer.

“Life goes on and you just get stronger through what you're dealt with,” Olinger said.

Andrea is taking a lot of time off work to care for baby Kolbet and go through her treatments.

To help with that and the mounting medical bills a fund has been set up to help with expenses.

To donate please click here.