Jennifer was only 16 when she began having headaches so bad that she had to go to the hospital. The doctors ordered an MRI in hopes of discovering what might be wrong. She was a sophomore at Pocatello High School in Idaho and never thought that the doctors would come back with chilling news.
Jenni had a brain tumor. The doctors gave her many options, and she chose to start chemotherapy to try and fight the tumor that was growing. They didn’t know how quickly it would grow, so they wanted to start immediately with treatment.
At 17, just after her second round of chemo, Jenni discovered that she was pregnant and 10 weeks along.
She only had three options: Abort her baby, stop her treatments, or continue with the pregnancy and the treatments and risk the baby’s health. Jenni knew that there was only one choice she could live with.
This brave young girl stopped the life-saving treatments in order to keep the pregnancy. She was worried that the two previous treatments might have already harmed the fetus, but decided to trust that she had made the right decision.
She began to lose her sight as the tumor grew, but she continued believing that her child would be alright.
One month before she turned 18, Jenni gave birth to Chad Michael Lake, named after his grandfathers. He was perfect and had not suffered any harmful side effects from the chemo treatments in the very beginning.
Her family hoped that she could resume the chemotherapy once she had given birth, but after another MRI, the doctors found that there were now multiple tumors that had grown, and that cancer had spread to her spinal column. There was nothing more that they could do for Jenni.
I’m done,” she told a nurse. “I did what I was supposed to do.”
Jenni was able to spend 12 beautiful days with her baby boy. Her last wish was to have her baby by her side in the end.
I can kind of see him,” her last words whispered while snuggling the precious child she had sacrificed everything for. Her last wish was fulfilled.
Chad is being raised by his father and both of his grandmothers. Although he will not remember her, he will feel her love with every breath that he takes.