Article Type: Blog

Defying the Odds | Chelsea's Story

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AdventHealth Foundation is honoring one remarkable mother: Chelsea Hoffmann, a young mother of two, just graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Sales and Marketing. However, graduation day has become much more meaningful after a recent diagnosis turned her world upside down.

Chelsea was in the second trimester of pregnancy when her obstetrician called. Something was wrong with Chelsea’s blood work. A bone marrow biopsy and MRI confirmed her diagnosis: hairy cell leukemia. Chelsea is the 11th case of hairy cell leukemia diagnosed while pregnant in the world.

Chelsea had just celebrated her 27th birthday and was looking forward to the birth of her second child. She was in shock. How could something be wrong? Her prognosis was 97% and many respond well to hairy cell leukemia chemotherapy, but Chelsea had a million questions. She will never forget her first visit with J. Pablo Arnoletti, MD, Chief of Surgical Oncology at AdventHealth Cancer Institute.

“The first time I met him, he made a contingency plan just in case something went wrong. He sat with me for two hours and answered every single question I had. He was in no rush and told me I would be fine. It made me feel comfortable and confident about this diagnosis.”

After tests showed worsening blood work, Chelsea had to quickly decide what course of action to take. “My obstetrician told me that there were two options. One was easier for me, and one is better for the baby. I thought in that moment, I’m having my spleen taken out.”

In December 2018, Chelsea gave birth to a healthy baby girl. She credits her team of specialists for their expertise and confident care.

Chelsea owes her life—and the life of her baby girl—to the doctors, nurses and caregivers at AdventHealth. To thank a caregiver who has made a lasting impact on your life, go to AdventHealth.com/Thanks

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