Jennifer Lake was a 16-year-old student at Pocatello High School, Idaho, when she first started experiencing severe headaches that would come out of nowhere. She somehow knew there was something wrong and decided to visit the family doctor and go through a series of check-ups.
Her doctor ordered an MRI on her head and that’s when Jennifer learned she had a tumor in her brain. That was the most devastating news a teenager could hear. She believed her life was ahead of her and hoped it would be a happy and a careless one, but instead, she faced a battle against a horrible disease.
Initially, doctors informed her and her family that the tumor was around two centimeters wide, but after they ran a round of other tests and scans, it turned out the situation was even worse, and the tumor was even bigger. Sadly, the cancer spread to other parts of her body.
Jennifer was told her chances of survival were slim even if she decided on undergoing through chemotherapy. She was also told that if she made it, the treatments would make her sterile and she would never be a mother.
”Jenni just flat out asked them if she was going to die,” said her father, Mike Lake, a truck driver from Rexburg, north of Pocatello.
‘We were told that she couldn’t get pregnant, so we didn’t worry about it,’ her boyfriend Nathan, 19, said.
However, something unexpected happened, and the couple learned they were expecting a baby. That made things different for Jennifer whose biggest wish was to become a mom one day.
But, that meant she had to make a tough decision. It was either her child’s life or hers at stake. In case she decided to carry on with the pregnancy, that would mean she had to stop with the chemo.
This fierce young lady decided to follow her heart and deliver the baby, even though it put her life in even greater risk.
Nine months later, baby Chad Michael was welcomed into the world.
Jennifer’s mom, Diana Phillips, recalled the day of her grandchild’s birth and said how her daughter grabbed the midwife’s hand and whispered: “I’m done, I did what I was supposed to. My baby is going to get here safe!”
Just six days after she had her baby, Jennifer was released from the hospital. Sadly, she only had six days to spend with her bundle of joy in the comfort of her home. The moment she died, little Chad was in her arms.
Jennifer was happy she got to give birth and kiss her baby. She made the ultimate sacrifice and that speaks of what mothers are capable of doing for their children.
Now, years after her passing, Jennifer’s family is making sure Chad knows of what his mom did for him and how much she loved him. Her story is touching the hearts of many since 2011, when she left this world.
There is a Facebook page dedicated to Jennifer’s life and journey where people pay still tribute to her sacrifice.