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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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