A teenager who had been diagnosed with a type of brain tumor made the ultimate sacrifice that a mother could do: choosing to stop undergoing treatments so that her baby may live.
The Associated Press shared the touching story of Jenni Lake of Pocatello, Idaho, and the price she paid to ensure that she is able to bring her son safely into the world. Twelve days after giving birth to her son, Chad Michael Lake Wittman, Jenni passed away in their home.
Jenniâ€™s mother, Diana Phillips, shared that she learned that Jenniâ€™s decision to stop treatments for the sake of her child would prove to be fatal a day after she gave birth on November 9, 2011. The cancer had grown to a point where nothing could be done.
Jenni had started having migraines when she was 16, and scans determined a mass on the right side of her brain.
Five days after undergoing a biopsy, in October 2010, Jenni was diagnosed with with stage three astrocytoma. She began to undergo aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and was told prior to the start of treatments that she may never have children.
A couple of weeks before her diagnosis, Jenni had begun dating Nathan Wittman, and despite their youth, their relationship withstood the test of cancer, as well as school gossip. Jenniâ€™s pregnancy, however, came as a surprise, in part because they were told that the treatments may make her sterile.
After the pregnancy was confirmed, Jenniâ€™s mom shared the options presented by Dr. David Ririe, Jenniâ€™s oncologist: â€œHe told us that if she’s pregnant, she can’t continue the treatments, so she would either have to terminate the pregnancy and continue the treatments, or stop the treatments, knowing that it could continue to grow again.â€
Jenni, however, had always wanted to be a mother, so there was no question about what her decision would be. And even if she is no longer around, her legacy of sacrifice will live on. Phillips shared: â€œI want him to know everything about her, and what she did.â€