GOOD NEWS

Utah mom puts off cancer treatments to do in vitro fertilization, delivers triplets

May 30, 2024, 5:58 PM | Updated: May 31, 2024, 6:51 am

DRAPER — A Lindon woman diagnosed with two kinds of cancer delivered the first set of triplets born at Lone Peak Hospital.

Kahea Benitez-Kauo and her husband, Hector Benitez, have dreamed of growing their family for years.

“We knew that we wanted to have kids,” Kahea Benitez-Kauo said. “Especially our nine-year-old; he really wants siblings.”

Their journey to getting pregnant was an unusually difficult one.

In 2021, shortly after Hector Benitez moved to the U.S. from Puerto Rico, Kahea Benitez-Kauo was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“My first cousin was diagnosed with cancer,” she said. “She actually passed away three months after I got diagnosed.”

The two parents talking about the difficult process of dealing with cancer and trying to get pregnant.

The two parents talking about the difficult process of dealing with cancer and trying to get pregnant. (KSL TV)

They tried one round of in vitro fertilization, but it was unsuccessful. The following week, she started chemotherapy. Kahea Benitez-Kauo also had a double mastectomy.

“We did chemo for four and a half months, then we found out at the last chemo appointment that we had to do radiation for 28 days,” she said.

On her last day of radiation, the couple received bad news.

“I got diagnosed with thyroid cancer,” Kahea Benitez-Kauo said. “Definitely heart dropped. Not what I was expecting, but we were again like, ‘Well, here we go, we’re just going to knock it out of the park and just do what we have to do.'”

After a total thyroidectomy, doctors found another tumor.

“Technically, I still have a cancerous tumor behind my collarbone that they can’t get to,” she said.

The couple was still determined to have a baby, so she opted to put off thyroid cancer treatment.

“I guess it’s still about just enjoying what we have and enjoying our time together, and whatever happens, happens,” Kahea Benitez-Kauo said. “We have no say on when our time comes.”

The couple underwent more rounds of IVF.

“The first three didn’t work, which was kind of traumatic because we would go through the process, and they would get so close, they’d be like, ‘Oh, you know, the next appointment should be good when we can do egg retrieval,’ and then we’d go in, and the eggs would be gone,” Kahea Benitez-Kauo said.

Finally, they learned they were pregnant with three babies.

“I actually don’t even remember being able to hear their heartbeats because we were so in shock,” she said.

They learned they would have a baby boy and identical twin girls.

“The chance of embryo splitting is like 2%,” the couple said.

Legend León, Kahea Linda and Keilani Kalei were born April 18.

After nearly six weeks in the hospital, the babies graduated from the NICU Tuesday. They were dressed in caps and gowns and greeted with a clap from hospital staff.

“It was very sentimental because we’ve become family with the nurses and the doctors and everyone just there,” Kahea Benitez-Kauo said.

Kahea Benitez-Kauo and her husband, Hector Benitez, walking out of the Lone Peak Hospital as they are cheered on by hospital staff.

Kahea Benitez-Kauo and her husband, Hector Benitez, walking out of the Lone Peak Hospital as they are cheered on by hospital staff. (KSL TV)

With the babies now home, the parents are focused on learning their personalities and figuring out their schedule.

Kahea Benitez-Kauo said this isn’t what she imagined years ago when she and her husband first tried IVF. Even though more diapers and bottles are involved, their dream has come true.

“I would have just told myself, be patient and have faith,” she said.

Kahea Benitez-Kauo said her medical team at Lone Peak Hospital will continue to monitor her cancer.

“I’ll go in for an ultrasound here soon and then, we’ll see about treatments,” she said.

Kahea Benitez-Kauo taking photos of her three new born children outside of the hospital.

Kahea Benitez-Kauo taking photos of her three newborn children outside of the hospital. (KSL TV)

KSL 5 TV Live

Good News

Rowers from Utah Crew travelled to Sarasota, Florida, to compete in the USRowing Youth National Cha...

Alexander Campbell

Facing adversity, a local youth rowing team places top ten nationally

In a small canal near California Avenue in Salt Lake City, a team of high school rowers has trained for racing at the national level.

2 days ago

Meranda Martin, Brailee Eyre and Caprie McNeill were honored after helping save a man's life. (Amer...

Tamara Vaifanua

Utah teens recognized after helping save man’s life

Two teenagers from Beaver are being called “the heroes team” after they saved the life of their friend's dad.

3 days ago

Community members gathered Monday to celebrate the return of a 9-year-old boy after being hit by a ...

Andrew Adams

Community welcomes home 9-year-old Huntsville boy who was hit by car

A large crowd gathered Monday to welcome home a 9-year-old boy just barely released from the hospital, after a lengthy fight for his survival.

6 days ago

Rescuers pulling the driver of a semitruck out from the rubble after an explosion....

Brittany Tait

Unified police officer rescues driver from burning semi in Little Cottonwood

A heroic officer and bystanders rescued the driver of a semitruck after a fiery rollover crash in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

12 days ago

Bank workers lend helping hand at home of West Valley veteran, nearly 30 others in 'paint-a-thon' (...

Andrew Adams

Bank workers lend helping hand at home of West Valley veteran, nearly 30 others in ‘paint-a-thon’

A veteran’s house was getting a swift makeover Monday as bank workers volunteered their after-hours time on nearly 30 home improvement service projects in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

12 days ago

Adam Benicosa is being considered a mailman hero after helping a woman who fell while gardening. (J...

Jessica Lowell

Mailman considered a hero after helping a woman who fell

A mailman in Roy is being considered for a Postmasters General Heroes’ Award after he helped a lady who had fallen and couldn’t get up.

15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Utah mom puts off cancer treatments to do in vitro fertilization, delivers triplets