A WOMAN of 53 is set to give birth to her own grandchild after offering to become a surrogate for her daughter.
Natalie Lobodzinski, 29, was left infertile by a rare childhood cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma, which struck when she was just four.
A revolutionary treatment, involving a radioactive implant, saved her life but left her unable to have children.
Now mum Janet Walker has stepped in to help her brave daughter achieve her dream of having a child with partner Aaron Buckley.
The Manchester family have now set up a fund-raising page to pay for the necessary IVF treatment.
Natalie, one of the first people to have the radioactive treatment, revealed: “It's damaged my inside and my womb.
“My mum is going to be a surrogate because I can't carry my own child. I have some eggs left but they might go at any time.
“All I want in life is to have a baby, as most women can do, but my chance was taken away from me.”
Natalie was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of four and after initial treatment, it returned when she was six.
After several gruelling rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, doctors were left with no other choice but to try brachytherapy – a type of radioactive implant.
Natalie was among the first children in the UK to have the treatment, which was so toxic she had to recover in a closed ward.
She revealed: “Everyone thought I was going to die – it was the last thing they could do," she said.
"It was the only way to kill the cancer."
The treatment worked but left Natalie unable to conceive.
She explained: "I've got lots of damage including to my bladder, hips and pelvis. Plus, I've only got one working ovary with a few eggs left.
"My womb has also been severely damaged. I've been told it's much smaller than it should be, hence why I can't carry children."
She added: "I've always wanted children.
"There's an 11 year age gap between me and my sister Sarah, so I looked after her a lot growing up and it gave me a glimpse into what being a mum would be like.
Three years ago Natalie met electrician Aaron when he came to do some work at her home.
"We messaged loads at first then about a month later we met up for a date," she said.
"I was nervous to tell him my situation, but I told him straight away.
"I'm older than him so I wanted to let him know from the outset that I'm not looking for a fling. I wanted something serious and to settle down.
"He was really supportive of it. He's desperate for children too."
Knowing how desperate her daughter was to have a family, selfless mum Janet stepped in to help.
Natalie explained: “My mum is going to be my surrogate because I can't carry my own child.
“It's the most amazing thing anybody could do for me. She's giving me back my dream of being a mother."
However, the surrogacy arrangement means that the local Clinical Commissioning Group will not fund the IVF.
According to Trafford CCG's assisted conception policy, they will not commission any form of fertility treatment to those in surrogacy arrangements "due to the numerous legal and ethical issues involved."
Alongside her doctor and local MP, Miss Lobodzinski has tried to appeal the decision, but to no avail.
Six months ago, Aaron had his sperm frozen, so now the couple face an agonising wait to raise the money needed for IVF so that Natalie’s eggs can be extracted.
She has now set up a YouCaring page called 'Natalie wants a baby: Her cancer said no, we say yes' to help fund the costs.
In a heartfelt message left on the page, her mother wrote: "I have watched Natalie suffer most of her life, and she has grown into a beautiful, caring woman that I'm proud to have as a daughter.
"She always smiles no matter how bad things get and has a lot of love to give. She would make an amazing mum.
"I also have a dream Natalie, and that is to see you - my baby - hold your baby and feel my love for you expand to my grandchild."
Praising her mother for selflessly helping her realise her dream, Miss Lobodzinski said: "Mum's absolutely amazing, she's the best. I couldn't live without her.
"Throughout everything – all the treatments and hospital visits - she's always been there.
"She's my rock. I wouldn't have got through all of this without her."