Some sad news today. A military mom who gained national attention when she was diagnosed with a rare cancer that is linked to pregnancy has died. Jenna Hinman had been battling choriocarcinoma, a cancer that starts in the placenta, since mid-March when she delivered twin daughters Kinleigh and Azlyn prematurely via C-section.
Hinman's cancer was already stage 3 by the time it was caught at the time of delivery, so even as her newborns were rushed to a NICU where doctors could care for the preemies, the new mom was placed in a medically-induced coma as doctors battled the cancer. Before dying, the 26-year-old got to see her little girls just one time.
Just one time.
Jenna leaves behind not just her little girls -- who are thriving -- but her husband, Army Sgt. Brandon Hinman. While people around the world send their support to upstate New York's Fort Drum, where Brandon is stationed, this sad story is also shining a light on just what choriocarcinoma is and how it can steal a mom away from her babies so quickly.
Apparently this type of cancer is not always fatal -- in fact, the National Institutes of Health estimate about 70 percent of women who have a poor outlook at first go into remission -- but it is extremely fast growing. No surprise when you consider it starts in the womb, where babies grow rather rapidly, right?
Moms are at a more heightened risk when the condition has gone on for four months or more, if the disease has spread to other organs, or if the choriocarcinoma occurs after a pregnancy that resulted in the birth of a child.
What should moms look out for? Again, Hinman's case is extremely rare, but moms who have had what's called a hydatidiform mole, or a mass in their womb, should be carefully monitored. Other signs are more nebulous -- irregular bleeding and pain -- but there ARE signs.
Nothing will bring Jenna Hinman back to her husband and her little girls, but as folks donate to help cover the family's medical expenses and pile onto their Facebook page with prayers, hopefully they'll also take a moment to spread the word ... to save another mother's life.
Had you ever heard of this cancer?
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