A Teen Refused Chemotherapy To Deliver A Healthy Baby, Then Died

Thu, December 29, 2011 4:43pm EDT by 15 Comments

This young mother made the ultimate sacrifice — she risked her life and ultimately died for the sake of her baby boy.

Jenni Lake gave birth to a baby boy only the month before her 18th birthday, but she’s not your average teen mom — she refused chemotherapy so that her baby could be healthy! “She told the nurse, ‘I’m done, I did what I was supposed to. My baby is going to get here safe,'” her mother, Diana Phillips said, according to The Daily Mail.

Jenni decided to forgo treatment for tumors on her brain and spine, but the cancer was too far along that her decision proved to be fatal.

Only 12 days after the birth of her son Chad MIchael Lake, Jenni died.

Jenni had started dating boyfriend Nathan Wittman only a couple weeks before she received her diagnosis, but he stayed by her side the entire time. Even when the young couple learned she was pregnant.

Because doctors had told her the radiation and chemotherapy could essentially make her sterile, the teens didn’t use protection. Jenni always wanted to be a mom — even if it meant being a teen mother — but she was faced with a hard decision: Keep the baby and stop treatments or terminate the pregnancy.

Jenni decided to keep the baby and hoped she could go back on chemotherapy after the birth. Unfortunately, that’s no longer an option. Nathan now has full legal custody of their son, with help from his mother.

Although she started to lose her vision as the cancer spread, her last words were about her son. “I can kind of see him,” she said.

-Anna Moeslein

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kendera white

Posted at 6:13 PM on December 5, 2013  

this is such an awseme story but very sad i know what its like my mom had to make that choice with my little brother and so now hes is here and healthy and she is gone: ) but its the most amazing thing what a mother will do for her child!!!!!!!

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Jackie

Posted at 10:24 PM on May 5, 2012  

The ultimate sacrifice. What an amazing young woman to make such a decision. May she rest in peace!

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madison

Posted at 1:30 AM on January 23, 2012  

i am a teen mom with a cancer diagnosis. my cancer was discovered during my c-section. coming from a fellow mother and patient, all i can say is god bless this woman and her child, as well as the babys father. what she did was not wrong in any way, and unless you have cancer and are pregnant/just gave birth you have no place to speak in this at all. she IS amazing and completely self-less. She is truly an inspiration to me, and im sure other patients and young moms alike.

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Sara

Posted at 4:15 PM on December 30, 2011  

LET ME REPHRASE!!! SHE CAN”T DO ALL THE THINGS FOR HER CHILD THAT A MOTHER DOES! Bringing a child into the world on purpose knowing you have 2 years or less just because YOU want to be a mom doesnt make you a saint. This baby will NEVER have a real mother. And it’s extremely sad. I would be absolutely LOST without my mother and I am well into my 30’s. Its tragic, yes, but it was preventable. I’m definitely not heartless. I just dont see the situation like everyone else. I’m entitled to my own thoughts too. Even if they hurt your feelings.

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Holly

Posted at 9:55 PM on December 30, 2011  

Sara. You’re welcome :)

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Sara

Posted at 11:02 PM on December 30, 2011  

I’m welcome? For what?

 
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Kindra

Posted at 1:55 PM on December 30, 2011  

Jenni is such an amazing person. I understand her wanting to have sex and life experiences since she was most likely going to die within two years. When she found out she was pregnant, she probably knew that was the end of the road for her, but didn’t have to be for her baby. And to those that say the baby will grow up without a mother, how many babies grow up without a father everyday? But nothing is ever said about that. This boy has two loving grandmas and may even have a step mother someday. He will have a mother even if it’s not a biological one. I’m sure many people will step up to the plate.

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Rys

Posted at 1:41 PM on December 30, 2011  

It is a mothers job to put the children first. I have a baby and I have a 1 bedroom apartment and my baby girl has the bedroom and I sleep in the living room. What Jenni did is more than what some other people in this world would do for their kids. I know that Jenni will always be with her baby boy. And he will one day meet her in heaven one day.

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sara

Posted at 8:23 PM on December 29, 2011  

she isn’t a mother at all. she is gone. it was a nice sacrifice, but unnecessary had she just used protection. she may have been able to adopt later in life when the chemo did its job. Now this poor baby will grow up with its mother. I do pray for the family. and that baby. so many prayers.

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hucks

Posted at 1:59 AM on December 30, 2011  

I agree with you!! =)

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tiki

Posted at 8:51 AM on December 30, 2011  

thats kind of heartless. the full article(obviously not on here… this is like a quarter the length) says that they guessed the chemo would give her about 2 years. I’m sorry if i were given a death sentence and told i was sterile, protection is the last thing I’d be thinking about.

as far as I’m concerned she IS in fact a mother. at least the baby got a life with loving granparents and a father. lots of kids these days get less.

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Beth

Posted at 11:22 AM on December 30, 2011  

One of the definitions of being a mother is putting your child above all else! Seems to me she fits that very well.

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Nora

Posted at 11:46 AM on December 30, 2011  

She brought life despite the circumstances!! Not like lots of these beezies nowadays getting knocked up and getting abortions because they can’t handle a baby. Unlike most people, she already had a full plate. If anything she is a saint. God bless her and her family. We need more people like this, this child will grow up never knowing his mother, but at least he knows someone loved that much.

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Chelse

Posted at 12:14 PM on December 30, 2011  

I think you someone needs to check for a pulse on you, clearly you have no heart.

This is NOT the full article, the full article states that the doctors thought the chemo would give her 2 years are BEST and they also told her that because of the radiation she’d already gone threw that she could not have children. I’m sorry but if I was dieing and had been told that I couldn’t have kids, I wouldn’t be worrying about condoms either I’d be trying to enjoy every moment of my life.

That young woman is every bit a mother as I am! She gave up her very life to save that innocent baby! And it’s not like she just passed away and left no one to care for him, he has his father (who has full custody, the full article stated that) and her family who see their grandson often.

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Rys

Posted at 7:48 PM on December 29, 2011  

OMGOSH. Jenni has proven to the world she is a great mother. She gave up her life, so her baby boy can have his life. I am so sorry, My prayers are with her family, espilly her baby boy.

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