Martina Navratilova puts adoption plans on hold as she battles cancer
Martina Navratilova and her wife Julia Lemigova have put their plans to adopt a child on hold as the sports star battles cancer.
The 66-year-old tennis legend and her partner had been hoping to expand their family this year, but Julia has now revealed they halted the process after Martina was diagnosed with stage one throat cancer and breast cancer in January as they want to wait until she has recovered before bringing a child into their home.
Speaking on 'The Real Housewives of Miami' reunion show, Julia explained: "When you're adopting a child, it has to be about the child. And right now it's everything about Martina and for her getting health. We're putting it on hold.
"We were thinking any moment the agency would call and give us the happy news that we were going to have a baby."
Host Andy Cohen asked if they were far along in the adoption process, and Julia replied: "Instead, we are fighting two cancers. Like one is not enough. I'm just waiting for Martina to get better."
Julia went on to thank fans for all their messages of support, saying: "I want to thank all of you here for reaching out and for showing your support. Thank you so much, she's going through a very hard time right now."
The couple married in 2014 and Julia is mum to two daughters Emma, 17, and Victoria, 21, from a previous relationship. She also had a son who died when he was an infant.
Martina - who won 59 Grand Slam singles and doubles titles in her four-decade career - went public with her cancer diagnosis in January after discovering an enlarged lymph node in her neck in November. Tests later confirmed she had stage one throat cancer and another “suspicious form” was then found in her breast which was unrelated.
Martina said: “This double whammy is serious but still fixable. I’m hoping for a favourable outcome. It’s going to stink for a while but I’ll fight with all I have got.” It comes 13 years after the tennis icon underwent radiation therapy for breast cancer and was given the all-clear after undergoing six weeks of chemotherapy.
A spokeswoman for Martina added both her cancers “are in early stage with great outcomes”, saying in a statement: “Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with stage one throat cancer. The prognosis is good and Martina will start her treatment this month. “The cancer type is HPV and this particular type responds really well to treatment. Martina noticed an enlarged lymph node in her neck during the WTA finals in Fort Worth. When it didn’t go down, a biopsy was performed, the results came back as stage one throat cancer. “At the same time as Martina was undergoing the tests for the throat, a suspicious form was found in her breast, which was subsequently diagnosed as cancer, completely unrelated to the throat cancer. “Both these cancers are in their early stages with great outcomes.”