Ovarian cancer survivor says her pregnancy saved her life

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It’s been 27 years, but Ivette Alicia still gets emotional every Mother’s Day.

“I never would have known I had cancer if I hadn’t been pregnant,” Alicea told PEOPLE.

She had the symptoms of ovarian cancer for years before she got pregnant, but she always thought it was her menstrual cycle or other issues.

“I thought I was having a miscarriage,” Alicea said. In reality, doctors had found a large mass growing next to the baby.

Months later, she delivered a healthy baby, but battled months of chemo after.

“You are easily the most incredible human I have or will ever encounter in my entire life,” her daughter Amanda said. “Not only are you strong and beautiful, but you chose me over you and that’s huge. You chose my life over yours. No one will ever love me that much.”

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