News and Commentary

Teen Who Refused Cancer Treatments While Pregnant To Save Baby Passes Away

A teen mother who refused cancer treatments while pregnant to protect her unborn daughter tragically passed away last week.

When Dana Scatton was 17 and pregnant, she found out she had an inoperable brain tumor. Instead of immediately undergoing radiation treatment to potentially prolong her life, she delayed treatment to protect her unborn baby, whom she gave birth to in January — just days before Scatton turned 18.

A Facebook page run by Scatton’s family shared the sad news last Monday.

“This morning shortly before 4am, Dana left us to be with the lord,” the family announced. “We may never have the right things to say to truly honor the amazing, smart, loving, caring, passionate, incredibly beautiful and free spirited mother, daughter, niece, sister, cousin, friend and independent woman Dana was every day.”

Scatton, a Christian and one of nine children herself, “inspired us all to be better than who we are and to keep God in our focus at every moment,” the post continues. “She faced the greatest fear of all, death, and smiled back with a grin only God can instill. She fought harder than the toughest warriors known to man and did it with grace and valor.”

“We don’t know how to process all of this but we want to thank everyone for all their prayers for Dana and our family,” writes the Scatton family.

The post closes with scripture Scatton lived her life by after she was diagnosed with the inoperable brain tumor:

Dana started this chapter of her life with a quote and we find it fitting to leave today’s post with it:

“So do not fear, for I am your God;

Do not be dismayed, for I am with you,

I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isiah 41:10

According to Live Action, Scatton was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, when she was seven months pregnant. At just age 17, she was given three to nine months to live, the outlet noted, adding that “90 percent of those diagnosed with DIPG die within 18 months.”

“Immediate treatment may have helped her to live longer than doctors expected, but radiation could have harmed her preborn daughter. Therefore, she chose to wait as long as she could before beginning treatment,” Live Action reported.

Scatton’s daughter, named Aries, was born at 33 weeks via an emergency cesarean section.

In a social media post published Wednesday, the family thanked supporters for their prayers and messages.

“Dana was an amazing woman who left a lasting impression on everyone she met and knew,” the post notes. “She inspired so many and continues to do so even after she’s gone on to heaven. We thank God every day for the time we had with her. We wish nothing more than to have more time with her but we know she’s not suffering any more. She’s happy. Right where she wants to be. Right next to God.”