H.O.P.E - Hold On Pain Ends: Part One - Interview with Kreena Dhiman


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This episode is part 1 of 2 with Kreena Dhiman. In this first part Kreena talks about her background story to becoming a mum, after being diagnosed with stage three breast cancer and then 3 years later suffering from heart failure.

An incredible story full of strength, inspiration and told by Kreena in such a positive and empowering way. Listen to part 2 for Kreena’s surrogacy journey.


  • Kreena met her husband when working part time before university but they didn’t start dating until they both graduated and moved back home. There were some initial difficulties before they got married due to religious differences and their parents expectations but they made their way through this. Kreena honestly believes she wouldn’t have been able to go through the journey they have without her husband by her side.
  • Kreena was diagnosed with breast cancer just three years into their marriage at age 33, this diagnosis forced her to put herself first, something she was not used to doing. She still attributes some of her difficulties to her struggles as a British Asian and growing up seeing things no child should in an abusive household.
  • The breast cancer diagnosis threw Kreena’s life into turmoil, everything she felt she was and she had was no longer there, she ended up losing her hair, being put into early menopause and having a double mastectomy. She was also asked about how important motherhood was to her, her answer was massively, she had always wanted to be a mother, she couldn’t see a future without children.
  • After doing a lot of research and recognising that being pregnant wasn’t important to her, having that child for the rest of her life was, Kreena started to look into surrogacy. She immersed herself into the UK Surrogacy community and built up as much knowledge as she could so that they would be ready whenever the time came.
  • Kreena and her husband had decided they would find their surrogate on a private Facebook community dedicated to surrogates in the UK. They took a holiday to celebrate the decision and the end of Kreena’s cancer treatment but upon landing in Vancouver she became very unwell. 24 hours later she was in a hospital coming in and out of consciousness; they couldn’t find out what was wrong with her but her husband was warned that she probably wouldn’t make the next 24 hours. The last team to assess her were the cardiology team who discovered she had heart failure, probably caused by one of the cancer drugs she had.
  • Incredibly she pulled through, she was discharged later but was still too unwell to fly so had to stay in Vancouver for another 8 weeks until she was allowed to fly with medical assistance.


“There was a lot of expectation upon both of us”

“I think my breast cancer diagnosis helped me realise that I was the most important person in my life”

“For me I felt like I had lost all forms of my femininity”

“The last thing I wanted to do was bring a child into this world and then me not be here for that child”

“I was so relieved to just touch UK soil”







Kreena Dhiman





Zoe Cresswell

Devoted mother of two (and a big hairy dog), UK trained midwife, doula and personal trainer, specialising in pre and postnatal fitness.

Zoe was born in the UK and before moving to Dubai in 2013 and worked as a midwife in central London, both in a birth centre and a very busy NHS hospital.

Although late to the scene, Zoe is an aspiring athlete having won numerous triathlons and representing Great Britain where she placed within the top 10 on the world stage.

With her husband James, the couple will soon be launching their cloth nappy company, Bop & Bee, where they hope to inspire families to swap a few disposable nappies a day for the more planet friendly option of cloth.

Zoe’s goal is to share her knowledge and experience, tell real life stories, manage expectations and open up those often difficult conversations.

Zoe’s own motherhood journey has been full of twists and turns as she put everything on hold and went through numerous miscarriages and rounds of IVF.


Instagram : @zoecresswell_me

Facebook: Zoe Cresswell

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/zoe-cresswell

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