Mother defied medical odds after cervical cancer
by Sarah Grano
After surviving cervical cancer, Laurie Popvich thought she’d never have any more kids. She shows off her family, from left, mother Yolanda Granados; Koen, Elly, Tal, Laurie; Aniyah and Brielle. (Sarah Grano/DW photo)
Doctors told Laurie Popovich she had no chance of having more children after a battle with cervical cancer.
She went on to beat cancer, give birth to four more children and devote her life to family and God.
“When I tell the story, I tear up because it’s a reminder of what God has done, and I see that in my children,” Popovich said.
The Lincolnton resident founded Seeds of Promise, a Denver-based home-schooling group.
Her life looks very different from when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 22, a single mother to 2-year-old daughter, Aniyah.
She lived in Florida, but was constantly traveling for her job in telecommunications. She was climbing the corporate ladder.
“I was the one who went in to land the deals,” she said.
Her mother, Yolanda Granados, took care of her daughter when she was away.
“We didn’t really have a relationship because I was always gone,” Popovich said of her early life with her daughter.
The cancer diagnosis caused a “big flip” in her life. Popovich left the corporate world, started attending an open-Bible church, rebuilt her relationship with her daughter and started reconnecting with her ex-husband.
Popovich married Lex when she was 18 and he was 22. They had not planned to have children quickly.
“I was on birth control so our first daughter was that 1 percent,” Popovich said. “You have this idea of going to school and traveling, and that doesn’t happen.”
She and her husband divorced, but, started seeing each other again the year their divorce was finalized. At first, Popovich just wanted him to know about the church where she and their daughter were spending all their time.
He ended up becoming a member. Their daughter was overjoyed with their reunion. Aniyah said it gave her a “happiest girl in the world feeling. I felt like I had my family back.”
Popovich said she let go of her anger at her ex-husband following her cancer diagnosis, which allowed them to reconnect.
“That we ever got back together at all was a miracle in itself,” Popovich said.
When they remarried, Popovich said she began praying for God to “open my womb” again, and Aniyah began praying for a brother or sister. Their prayers were answered.
“I was shocked,” Popovich said. “Even now, I get goose bumps talking about it.”
She says there is no medical explanation for what happened, but her four youngest children are proof that she had been healed.
Popovich’s mother has a simple explanation.
“It’s a miracle,” Granados said.
“I think about it frequently,” Aniyah said. “She’s like a walking miracle in my life.”
Popovich is a stay-at-home mom who home-schools her five children, who range in age from 3 to 17. Her husband, Lex, is a police officer in Gastonia.
Popovich wants her children to know her, know her story and above all else, know God.
“I’m always telling them the importance of having a relationship with God,” she said. “I know what life was without Him.”
Whatever trial you face, be it with your health, relationships or finances – God can make a message of Light, Love and Hope out of your mess. He did with me and continues to do so. I had been given 6 months to live when I got this diagnosis, here I am 15 years and 5 children later. He is my Redeemer, Rock and Savior in all things.
My Pops, all of them (including Mr. Pop) are an inspiration to me to keep living and enjoying them and life. I’m blessed in my mess because I submitted my life to God. The blessings of God are for “whosoever believe in Him.” To God be the glory because without Him, I shouldn’t even be here. May His love and miracles tarry on in you!
You are dearly and wholly loved in Him,