A mother's sacrifice | She stops chemotherapy to give birth to her baby
There are tragic stories, which despite their calamitous conclusion, still manage to convey a sense of hope for the future.
Jennifer Michelle Lake's story is definitely a painful story, but still a story that speaks of courage and powerful personal choices.
The young woman was an American teenager like many others, with a loving boyfriend, and a life full of hope for the future.
However, her hopes and dreams were abruptly dashed and broken when doctors diagnosed her with brain cancer. No one is ready to receive such news, let alone a 16-year-old girl.
Instead of living her adolescence in a carefree way, Jennifer had to face the arduous medical treatments needed to try to control and manage this fearful disease.
Initially, doctors informed her that the tumor was less than an inch wide (2 cm wide).
But after performing a series of other tests, it turned out that the situation was even worse than they had expected in the beginning.
In fact, the tumor was much larger and, unfortunately, had already metastasized and spread to other parts of her body.
The doctors were immediately clear about Jennifer's chances of survival: even if she had decided to undergo chemotherapy, her chances of being cured of the disease remained very low.
Also, by undergoing chemotherapy treatments, she would become sterile—and for a young woman who had dreamed of the day she would become a mother, this was further devastating news!
"They told us that she couldn't get pregnant, so we didn't worry," said her 19-year-old boyfriend Nathan.
Instead, the "miracle" occurred—unexpectedly, Jennifer became pregnant by her boyfriend, making the situation even more complicated than it already was.
At this point, Jennifer had to make a difficult decision about whether to continue chemotherapy, despite the low probability of her survival and to harm her unborn baby or to stop chemotherapy completely.
For a young woman whose greatest desire was to become a mother, the choice must have been almost spontaneous and natural.
Consequently, Jennifer chose to continue her pregnancy and give birth to her baby son who they named Chad Michael.
Jennifer's mom, Diana Phillips, remembers the day her grandson was born and said that at that moment her daughter grabbed the midwife's hand, whispering to her: "I'm done, I did what I had to do. My baby has arrived safely."
Just six days after having her baby, Jennifer was discharged from the hospital. Unfortunately, she was only able to spend six days with her newborn baby. And when she died, she was holding little Chad in her arms.
Now, years after she passed away, Jennifer's family is making sure that Chad knows what his mother did for him and how much love she had for him.
Jennifer Michelle Lake's story has been shared around the world since the young woman left this world—and a page has been created on Facebook dedicated to Jennifer to remember and commemorate her gesture of maternal love.