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Internet Backs Mother Who Kept Her Daughter's Cancer Diagnosis From Ex

Newsweek 3/3/2022 Alexandra Schonfeld
A post has gone viral on Reddit after a mother shared that she decided to keep her daughter's cancer diagnosis from her estranged ex. Above, a stock image shows a mother holding her. young daughter. © chameleonseye/Getty Images A post has gone viral on Reddit after a mother shared that she decided to keep her daughter's cancer diagnosis from her estranged ex. Above, a stock image shows a mother holding her. young daughter.

A post has gone viral after a mother shared why she decided to keep her young daughter's cancer diagnosis from her ex-partner—the girl's father.

Redditor u/Complex_Gold8758 wrote about the situation on the subreddit "Am I the A**hole" in a post that has now been voted on over 9,000 times.

She explained that she and her ex, who share a 3-year-old daughter, broke up after she found out he had cheated. Since then, she writes, he has been "almost completely absent" in their daughter's life.

"He has visited a grand total of 10 times, never pays for any costs at all, insults both me and her, and has made nasty posts on his Instagram calling me an ugly [w***e], and has made several posts calling our daughter ugly as well," she wrote.

She said when she first noticed something wasn't right with her daughter and took her to the doctor to run tests, she contacted the girl's father to tell him she was worried.

"He told me he didn't care, and hung up."

In 2019 Pew Research Center reported that 23 percent of U.S. children under the age of 18 live with one parent and no other adults—a higher rate than anywhere else in the world.

Within the report, a single-parent household was categorized as having a sole adult living with at least one biological, step or foster child under age 18.

Another study, published by Gallup in 2020, found that one in eight women between the ages of 18 and 60 around the world were unmarried and had children younger than 15 in their household. This figure was found to be higher in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

The Redditor explains that she first began to worry about her daughter's health after the girl started "complaining of pain, and was running a fever, and had some pretty nasty bruising."

The mother was initially told it was a virus that would go away but "begged" for further testing and found out her daughter has B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

"This is the scariest moment in my life. As I sit here, writing this, my daughter is down for sedation and counts," she writes. "We've been in the hospital since her diagnosis two weeks ago. I've cried more than I've ever cried in my entire life, and seeing her tiny body infested with this horrible disease is almost more than I can handle."

She explained that she posted on her private Facebook about her situation and though she is not "friends" with her ex, or his friends, she is "friends" with his sister.

After a day of not checking her phone, she said she returned to "over 20 messages" from her ex and his mother calling her "horrible names" and saying she should have told them the news of their daughter's diagnosis.

u/Complex_Gold8758, who identified herself as Gabrielle, told Newsweek over Reddit that in the days since posting, her ex has continued to send her messages leading her to delete her Facebook account after he "continued harassing" her.

Commenters supported the mother and her decision to keep the information to herself, especially given his reaction to first hearing his daughter was not well.

"I say cut them off entirely. Don't answer their calls block all their emails and phone numbers. What's he going to do? Pay money to go to court? In order to get access to her legally he would have to pay back all that child support...," one commenter wrote.

Others are suggesting the mother compile screenshots of conversations with her ex and his hurtful messages.

The Redditor writes that when her ex confronted her over the news he called her a "[w***e]" and said he had "the right to know."

She asked him if he would like to come see his daughter, which he declined, though told his family a different story.

Gabrielle told Newsweek that he still "refuses" to see his daughter.

"NTA. Sorry that you are going through this. Please focus on your daughter and yourself too. Block them because you don't need their toxicity. Hang in there, everything will be alright," one commenter wrote.

Gabrielle said she is glad she posted about her situation online as it helped her to get her "head together," as well as connect her to other "oncology moms who had kids in the same situation."

Updated 03/03/22 6:10 p.m. EST: This story has been updated to include comment from Gabrielle.

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