The heart-wrenching moment Elle Halliwell learned she was pregnant while battling cancer.

Journalist Elle Halliwell has offered audiences a glimpse into the reality of refusing cancer treatment while pregnant in an exclusive interview with 60 Minutes.

The 30-year-old told the program she was forced to choose between undergoing chemotherapy to save her own life, or refusing it to save the life of her unborn child.

Halliwell discovered she was pregnant only 48 hours after she was diagnosed with Leukaemia in April this year.

The News Corp fashion editor told 60 Minutes host Allison Langdon the experience has taken her face-to-face with the very real possibility of death.

“I’ve thought about dying and it didn’t scare me as much as I thought it would. I don’t why, I don’t know why,” she said.

“But I kind of thought, you know, ‘I’ve lived a really great, amazing life, and I’m bringing life into the world now. And if all goes well, then that’s amazing. And if it doesn’t, you know, I’ve done my best and, you know, it’s not meant to be.'”

Elle Halliwell. (Source: 60 Minutes)

Halliwell said news of the pregnancy lacked the usual joy one would associate with expecting a child.

"I just thought, 'That poor life inside me, living in this sick body.' I thought it had no hope anyway," she said.

"I didn’t really think too far ahead, because I thought, 'How can something survive in a body that has leukaemia?'"

Halliwell and husband Nick Biasotto have since learned they are expecting a son. The soon-to-be mother shared how carrying her future son has been surprisingly smooth despite the larger situation.

"I kind of almost feel like he knows, he’s giving me a bit of a break. He’s like, 'You’re dealing with enough stuff, I’m going to be a really easy baby, at least until I come out.'

"And then we’ll see, we’ll see what he’s like. I have a feeling he’s going to have his dad’s energy," she said.

Husband Nick Biasotto (Source: 60 Minutes.)

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute Professor Tim Hughes said the biggest risk the expectant mother faces is the disease suddenly accelerating into a later stage.

"The risk is the disease will transform in the first nine months. We do see it sometimes. Patients present, and before we even start treatment, it can actually transform into the acute phase and that then becomes a very, very life-threatening situation," he said.


Biasotto shared how the couple had spoken about the possibility of him raising their future son alone.

"Yeah, look, we, you know, talked about that. It was... It was not a flippant overnight decision," he said.

Halliwell said she was comforted by the idea her child would grow up surrounded by people who would love and support him.

"Whatever happened, we would have so much love around us and so much care that if it did get to that point, then I know that if CML does, you know, end up beating me, I know that there’d be no doubt that he would be absolutely cared for and loved," she said.

News of the cancer came after Halliwell visited her GP to have her Vitamin D and folate levels checked in preparation for trying for children. The journalist described how incredibly unexpected the diagnosis came in an essay published in The Daily Telegraph.

"The diagnosis came as a huge blow, as I had no symptoms," she wrote.

"If you walked past me in the street, or took a peek at my Instagram account, you wouldn’t believe I had an incurable disease."

"I’m not bruised, bald or lying in a hospital bed, which is an image many conjure up when they think of children and adults with leukaemia."