Mom with rare eye cancer delivers healthy, cancer-free twins

By Dave Andrusko

In a whirlwind of medical activity, Jessica Boesmiller had an eye removed just three weeks after a November diagnosis of a rare ocular cancer and then gave birth less than a month later to cancer-free twins—a boy, Mason Dare, and a girl, Piper Marie.

Mrs. Boesmiller, the 37-year-old Healthy Living Director at the Lake Norman YMCA, delivered her babies days before Christmas, and told the Daily Mail “she and her husband, a North Carolina firefighter, were relieved when tests confirmed the babies’ placentas had not been infected.”

Now the family, which includes two older sons, 7 and 9, is “waiting for the results of a CT scan and MRI to determine if the cancer has spread to other parts of her body,” according to the Daily Mail’s Kayla Brantley

As Brantley explained, ocular melanoma is a rare life-threatening form of cancer, “killing half of those diagnosed, especially when it spreads to the liver.”

Jessica and Mark’s decision to remove the eye on November 30 ensured the least amount of harm to the babies, whereas radiation would be an alternative.

A c-section was scheduled for the week before Christmas and an MRI and CT scan to determine the spread of the cancer and its stage was put off until a week after delivery.

When she experience blurry vision in one eye, Mrs. Boesmiller, who was 32 weeks pregnant at the time, thought it could be due to being in her eighth month.

“I expected to walk in there needing contacts, and I walked out of there with a diagnosis of OM,” Jessica told the Herald Citizen. Her eye was removed at Duke University Medical Center and she wears an eye patch. Mrs. Boesmiller will get fitted for a prosthetic eye within the next few months.

If the cancer has spread, Brantley explained, “Jessica will work with doctors to assess the stage of the cancer and plan our treatment which will likely consist of radiation therapy. ‘If it’s somewhere else, we’ll start another path of getting rid of that one,’ she said.”

Writing December 28 on their Facebook page, Jessica said

Bliss. That is what each moment spent with these twins, my boys, and my husband feel like.

Blessed Joy and thankfulness. That is what I felt when I found out the twins’ placentas were negative for melanoma. Let me write that again. Twins are negative for this evilness that is called cancer.