Woman whose husband froze his sperm before dying of cancer is pregnant with his child

‘I promised him I’d chase our dream of having kids’: Woman whose husband died of cancer at age 27 reveals she is PREGNANT with his daughter two years later – after using his frozen sperm to conceive via IVF

  • Chris and Mariah Smith, from Massachusetts, dreamed of starting a family
  • When he was diagnosed with sinus cancer in 2018, he froze his sperm
  • He passed away three years later, and now, she is pregnant with his daughter 

A woman whose husband tragically died of cancer at age 27 is fulfilling their dream of starting a family after using his frozen sperm to conceive a child – nearly two years after his passing.

Mariah Smith, 26, from Haverhill, Massachusetts, said becoming parents was always a top priority for her and her husband, Chris Smith – but unfortunately, they never got the chance to embark on that journey together.

Chris was diagnosed with sinus cancer when he was just 24, and it eventually spread to his brain and spinal chord. 

After a long and strenuous three-year battle with the disease, he passed away in February 2021, but Mariah’s hope to be a mother didn’t die with him.

A woman whose husband froze his sperm before tragically dying of cancer at age 27 so that she could complete their dream of starting a family is now pregnant with his child

A woman whose husband froze his sperm before tragically dying of cancer at age 27 so that she could complete their dream of starting a family is now pregnant with his child

Mariah Smith, 26, from Haverhill, Massachusetts, said becoming parents was always a top priority for her and her husband, Chris Smith (seen in the hospital before his death)

Mariah Smith, 26, from Haverhill, Massachusetts, said becoming parents was always a top priority for her and her husband, Chris Smith (seen in the hospital before his death)

Chris was diagnosed with sinus cancer when he was just 24, and it eventually spread to his brain and spinal chord. He is seen in the hospital

Chris was diagnosed with sinus cancer when he was just 24, and it eventually spread to his brain and spinal chord. He is seen in the hospital

After a long and strenuous three-year battle with the disease, he passed away in February 2021, but Mariah's hope to be a mother didn't die with him. They are pictured in 2017

After a long and strenuous three-year battle with the disease, he passed away in February 2021, but Mariah’s hope to be a mother didn’t die with him. They are pictured in 2017

He made sure to freeze his sperm so that she could one day have their child, and now, as the two-year anniversary of his death approaches, Mariah has announced that she is expecting a baby girl.

He made sure to freeze his sperm so that she could one day have their child, and now, as the two-year anniversary of his death approaches, Mariah has announced that she is expecting a baby girl

He made sure to freeze his sperm so that she could one day have their child, and now, as the two-year anniversary of his death approaches, Mariah has announced that she is expecting a baby girl

‘Before he passed, I promised him I’d chase our dream of having kids. This spring, just over two years after Chris’ death, our daughter will be born,’ she wrote in a recent essay for Insider.

Mariah explained that when Chris was diagnosed in 2018, he ‘refused to start treatment until he had banked sperm’ just in case ‘chemotherapy left him infertile.’

‘We wanted to know we could have the family we dreamed of. It was a must for us to share a family,’ she continued.

While the couple remained optimistic and ‘believed he would survive,’ Mariah explained that Chris made it clear to her that he wanted her to use his sperm even if he didn’t make it. 

Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst just after their wedding in late 2020, and when he passed away in early 2021, knowing that one day she would be able to give birth to his child was what helped her get through the pain of losing her husband.

Mariah (seen in 2020) explained to Insider recently that when Chris was diagnosed in 2018, he 'refused to start treatment until he had banked sperm'

Mariah (seen in 2020) explained to Insider recently that when Chris was diagnosed in 2018, he ‘refused to start treatment until he had banked sperm’

While the couple remained optimistic and 'believed he would survive,' Mariah said Chris (seen in 2020) made it clear to her that he wanted her to use his sperm even if he didn't make it

While the couple remained optimistic and ‘believed he would survive,’ Mariah said Chris (seen in 2020) made it clear to her that he wanted her to use his sperm even if he didn’t make it

When Chris passed away in early 2021, knowing that one day she would be able to give birth to his child was what helped her get through the pain of losing her husband

When Chris passed away in early 2021, knowing that one day she would be able to give birth to his child was what helped her get through the pain of losing her husband

Mariah revealed that they discussed their ‘future children’ in Chris’ ‘last moments,’ and that she vowed to ‘tell them everything about him’ so that they’d ‘know how special he was and how hard her fought.’ 

‘Becoming a widow at 24 was just as awful as it sounds. But I had something to hang on to: the promise of having Chris’ child,’ she said. 

‘It kept me going, taking care of myself and working toward the future. It breathed life into my heart and soul.

‘I knew I still had that piece of him. I had the option to have our own family, even though it’d look very different than I’d anticipated. I could keep him alive in this way for our family and friends.’

Getting pregnant wasn’t easy – Mariah went through one round of IUI, three rounds of IVF, and suffered from a miscarriage.

Mariah revealed that they discussed their 'future children' in Chris' 'last moments,' and that she vowed to 'tell them everything about him' so that they'd 'know how special he was

Mariah revealed that they discussed their ‘future children’ in Chris’ ‘last moments,’ and that she vowed to ‘tell them everything about him’ so that they’d ‘know how special he was

'Becoming a widow at 24 was just as awful as it sounds. But I had something to hang on to: the promise of having Chris' child,' she said

‘Becoming a widow at 24 was just as awful as it sounds. But I had something to hang on to: the promise of having Chris’ child,’ she said

She concluded: 'I've been through a lot and still have a great challenge ahead: doing my absolute best to make sure my children know Chris, without ever being able to know him'

She concluded: ‘I’ve been through a lot and still have a great challenge ahead: doing my absolute best to make sure my children know Chris, without ever being able to know him’

Now, she is preparing for the birth of her and Chris’ daughter, but she admitted that there will be mixed feelings when she enters the world.

‘I’ve been preparing myself for meeting my daughter my whole pregnancy. It will be a moment of immense joy and sadness,’ she concluded. 

‘Knowing that Chris won’t be there to hold her and meet her with me will bring a new kind of grief.

‘Chris and I had plenty of conversations about how we would parent, and I feel prepared to do what he would have wanted.

‘I’ve been through a lot and still have a great challenge ahead: doing my absolute best to make sure my children know Chris, without ever being able to know him.’

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