• How Being a Cancer Lifer Didn’t Keep Me from Motherhood

    Personal Stories


    My name is Adiba Barney. I am a Komen Advocate, cancer lifer and most importantly, a new mother. I've had a life filled with both tough challenges and great achievements. I was born a child of war in Lebanon. At the age of seven, my family and I fled to Sweden to survive and start over. Little did I know that at 27, my fight with breast cancer would begin.

    By the age of 30, I’d survived two battles with breast cancer. I had already overcome so much in my life and was ready to put breast cancer behind me for good. I was lucky enough to meet and marry the most wonderful man, Kris, who shared my dream of starting a family. Things were great! But at 37, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, also known as stage IV breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that has spread beyond the breast and into other areas of the body. We got the news shortly after Kris and I decided to fulfill our dream of becoming parents via in vitro fertilization (IVF). As part of the IVF process, I was required to get a mammogram. We thought it would be routine, but instead it turned into a prognosis of three to five years left to live. Our dream suddenly felt impossible.

    However, thanks to a new treatment regimen that involved aggressive, experimental radiation therapy and a new drug, I have no evidence of tumors in my body today. The treatment is holding the cancer at bay. Given this new hope, we were able to continue to pursue our dreams of parenthood via surrogacy.

    Thanks to Misha, our wonderful surrogate, Kris and I were so thrilled to welcome our new son, Alex into our lives on October 26, 2018. He is a beautiful, healthy little boy who looks a lot like his mama! We were so lucky to find Misha, who made parenthood possible for us and did an amazing job throughout the entire process. We are forever grateful for all she has done to help us fulfill our dream of starting a family, and she will always be in our lives. 

    Adiba, Kris and baby Alex

    As we begin the next chapter, our little family is moving to a beautiful house on Lake Norman in Charlotte, North Carolina. I look forward to making this house a home and watching my son grow up by the lake. Each day I spend with Kris and Alex gives me strength and a will to live that I have never felt before. I am more determined than ever to stay alive and be there for all my boy's milestones in life.

    None of this would be possible without your continued support for Susan G. Komen and its fight against breast cancer. Donating to Susan G. Komen will help fund innovative research into metastatic and aggressive breast cancers like mine. Help us find cures so that I, and others like me, can continue to be there for our families.

    Learn More About Metastatic Breast Cancer

    Return to Blog Home