Teen mother sacrifices life after halting chemo for unborn baby

We write about the show Teen Mom all the time here and chronicle all the difficult decisions the cast members of the show make in light of having a child to care for. But never has any of their choices come close to the ultimate sacrifice that 17-year-old Jenni Lake made for her unborn son.

This story is actually one that circulated back in December from a report filed by local affiliate KIFI. I came across it while checking out Selena Gomez’s Twitter feed of all places. A week ago Gomez tweeted, “Love is.……,” and then linked to the heartbreaking story via HLN. We try to stay current here with our posts but I was so touched by Jenni’s story, which I was not familiar with, that I thought I’d share it with our readers.

Jenni was from Pocatello, Idaho. In Oct. of 2010 she was diagnosed with Grade 3 brain cancer and given a prognosis of 2 years to live.

In March of 2011, the family was informed that her tumors were shrinking. This good news was buoyed when Jenni’s mom found her daughter crying in her room following a trip to the emergency room with her boyfriend, Nathan Wittman.

It turned out, Jenni was pregnant.

Jenni’s mom, Diana Phillips, said:

“She was pretty scared, because the baby had been through two rounds of chemo from March and April, and she was just about to start another round.”

Here is a video report filed by HLN:

Upon discovery of her pregnancy Jenni, out of the fear of the effects chemotherapy would have on her unborn child, made the completely unselfish decision of halting her treatment. On Nov. 9th, 2011 she gave birth to her son, Chad Michael. Just two weeks later Jenni succumbed to her cancer, passing away on Nov. 22nd, 2011.

Chad Michael is being raised by his father with assistance from Jenni’s family. Selena has it right. Love is the story of a very courageous Jenni Lake who proved once again that a mother’s love knows no bounds.

Some of the comments that followed this story via HLN were accusatory, questioning how Jenni became pregnant. Her sister replied and I thought I’d include that as well. There are some typos but Jenni’s sister actually apologized for that explaining the response was from her iPhone…

Hello all of you! 🙂

I’m Jenni Lake’s oldest sister. I would just like to say that I do appreciate the support that many of you have shown. I do understand the arguments that some of you make such as “she was irresponsible”, “she should have used birth control”, and “she should have abstained from sex.” In my opinion, it wasn’t an irResponsible choice she made. It was indeed selfless. As for birth control, she was on it until it was later learned that chemotherapy counteracts it. Sure, a conDom might have been useful and do could abstinence, however, we are all human bEings and capable of making our own decisions. I don’t believe we should judge each other on such unless you are the all might God himself. It is not any of our places. In my opinion, the fact of the matter is that she lived up to everything She’s always wanted to do. To me, that is the meaning of life itself and I’m glad she fulfilled her life her way, no one else’s and I am more proud of her than I have ever been of anyone before.

If you’re interested in how you can help fight this terrible disease I encourage you to visit The V Foundation, which is focused on funding research to help one day beat cancer.

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