+655 votes
Twice Blessed: Jenna's Legacy
Description
This is dedicated to the legacy of Jenna Blaisdell Hinman (11/21/87 – 05/05/14) – a courageous young mother who gave her life to bring two beautiful twin girls into the world. Please take a moment to read her heroic story –

After great difficulty conceiving, Jenna and her husband, Brandon, were overjoyed to learn that they were going to be parents of twin girls. Jenna’s husband had been serving in the US Army, which kept him away for long stretches of time in Afghanistan. Because carrying twins is harder on the body than carrying a single baby, the Army allowed Brandon to remain stateside for the duration of Jenna’s “high risk” pregnancy – but no one ever could have predicted just how high the risk would be. Early in the morning on March 3rd, 2014, Jenna began experiencing shortness of breath and pain in her abdomen. Brandon quickly realized that his wife was in crisis and called 911. Jenna was rushed to the ER where she delivered two premature but healthy, beautiful baby girls via emergency C-section – Azlynn Mary and Kinleigh Anne. Jenna briefly saw her sweet babies before they were rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The joy of the moment was quickly overshadowed by Jenna’s worsening condition. Within hours of the birth Jenna’s lungs were failing – doctors suspected pneumonia. Jenna was placed on a ventilator and ultimately her husband had to make the agonizing decision to allow the doctors to place his wife in a medically induced coma. Days passed while Jenna’s body got weaker and the mystery of why her lungs were failing gnawed at her loved ones and her medical team. It was finally discovered that Jenna’s condition was far graver than anyone could have dreamed – it was cancer. The cancer had spread through her entire body; and had completely filled her lungs with tumors and lesions. The initial suspicion of pneumonia was also correct – and that added complication would become as great of a challenge in Jenna’s fight as the cancer itself. The cancer, called Choriocarcinoma, is is a quick-growing form of cancer that occurs in a woman's uterus (womb). The abnormal cells start growing in the placenta, the organ that develops during pregnancy to feed the fetus and then spread rapidly through the body (National Institute of Health). This type of cancer is often very treatable, but Jenna’s case was complicated. Jenna’s lungs were so weak that even with the ventilator her body wasn’t oxygenating her blood enough to sustain her life. Her situation would surely be fatal if not for extreme intervention. A special team was assembled and Jenna was placed on an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine – which basically removed Jenna’s blood from her body, oxygenated it, and pumped it back through her veins (since her own body was unable to do so). This lifesaving tactic was itself, a great risk. While on the ECMO machine Jenna remained in a medically induced coma and she received the highest doses of chemotherapy possible. Her body and spirit fought hard – there were dramatic highs and lows. Her family never left her side – taking up residence in the ICU lounge and at her bedside. Her babies were in the NICU, just a few floors above her in the same hospital. At one point, though she was not conscious, the NICU brought the babies down and laid them on her chest – it was everyone’s firm belief that this skin-to-skin contact would be more powerful than any medicine. As Jenna’s body began to respond to chemotherapy and pneumonia medications, the medical team began to draw her out of her medically induced coma, though she was in tremendous pain and discomfort. Eventually, Jenna’s lungs had recovered to the point where the ECMO machine was removed (though she remained on the ventilator). She began physical therapy – trying to strengthen her fingers and hands. Her personality began to shine through again – she was able to nod her head, smile, and gesture with her hands and arms. Eventually the twin girls were well enough to be discharged from the NICU – and the family was then forced to divide their time between caring for the babies at home and holding Jenna’s hand in the ICU. Finally the day came that everyone had been waiting and praying for – Jenna was exhausted, but alert, and the babies came for their first real visit with Jenna. It was a beautiful, unforgettable moment as mother and child were reunited. As weak as she was, Jenna’s maternal instincts kicked in immediately and the girls knew their mommy. With the help of her own mother, Jenna fed the babies and burped them. She rubbed their little backs and tummies. Brandon showered Jenna was kisses and praise. After that visit Jenna continued to gain strength and determination and her cancer count was incredibly low. But no sooner than had everyone begun to believe that Jenna was in the homestretch – the unthinkable happened – an infection. Jenna’s body could withstand no more trauma and within the blink of an eye her physical body was relieved of its pain. Jenna passed away on the afternoon of May 5th, 2014 – her husband and family by her side.

In the wake of her loss all those who loved her and came to love her through this page have mourned the ending of a beautiful, important, and courageous life. This page, which was originally titled Prayers for Jenna, was renamed Twice Blessed: Jenna’s Legacy. The creators and administrators of this page were two of Jenna’s dearest friends. When we started this page we never dreamed it would become so widespread and so important to others – but it really shouldn’t be a surprise, since Jenna was such a remarkable, beautiful, and kind person. Whatever the reason that you feel connected to Jenna – we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued prayer, positive energy, and support. We will continue to share updates on the twins as they grow. Thank you for sharing in Jenna’s Legacy.

**The twins currently reside with Jenna’s parents, Kim and Jeff, in Jenna’s hometown in upstate New York. They are loved and cared for by countless family members and friends. Specific details are kept private to protect the safety and wellbeing of Jenna’s babies and family. Thank you for your consideration in that matter. For more information on Choriocarcinoma or to look at news articles relating to Jenna please visit the “links” section on our page.**

Kindly,
Brie & Tara

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/mom-newborn-twins-fights-rare-placenta-cancer/story?id=22942121

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001496.htm



Choriocarcinoma

Choriocarcinoma is a quick-growing form of cancer that occurs in a woman's uterus (womb). The abnormal cells start in the tissue that would normally become the placenta, the organ that develops during pregnancy to feed the fetus.

Choriocarcinoma is a type of gestational trophoblastic disease.
Causes

Choriocarcinoma is an uncommon, but very often curable cancer that occurs during pregnancy. A baby may or may not develop in these types of pregnancy.

The cancer may occur after a normal pregnancy. However, it most often occurs with a complete hydatidiform mole. The abnormal tissue from the mole can continue to grow even after it is removed, and can turn into cancer. About half of all women with a choriocarcinoma had a hydatidiform mole, or molar pregnancy.

Choriocarcinomas may also occur after an early pregnancy that doesn't continue (miscarriage), ectopic pregnancy, or genital tumor.
Symptoms

A possible symptom is vaginal bleeding in a woman who recently had a hydatidiform mole or pregnancy.

Other symptoms may include:

Irregular vaginal bleeding
Pain

Exams and Tests

A pregnancy test will be positive even if you are not pregnant. Pregnancy hormone (HCG) levels will be high.

A pelvic exam may show uterine swelling or a tumor.

Blood tests that may be done include:

Quantitative serum HCG
Complete blood count
Kidney function tests
Liver function tests

Website
http://www.thefacebook.com/prayersforjenna
13,599 views Apr 6, 2016
anonymous
Welcome to ellenNation,
The Nation of Ellen DeGeneres, where you can showcase your submissions, add videos, images and receive opinions from other ellen fans & the members of the community. - ellenNation

Please log in or register to Comment this Media.

survivor 290 points
I too am a survivor!  Mine appeared after the birth of my daughter, but I also had a molar pregnancy that required chemo a few years prior.  Because of my cancer, I spent roughly 2 years in treatment, after I hit remission and relapsed.  I had multiple chemo agents, lost time with family, and had surgeries.  I am currently in remission and have been for almost a year.  Praying for her family.
+7 votes
Apr 7, 2016
Marcus Alan
God took an angel, but blessed us with two more.. I will be blessed to see these beautiful angels grow up.. Jenna is gone but never forgotten and always in our hearts...
+6 votes
Apr 7, 2016
tipytoes 240 points
I am a choriocarcinoma survivor from 2014. I had a complete twin molar pregnancy with surviving twin, now 2 1/2 years old. It was detected 4 months after her birth. I had 12 rounds of aggressive ema-co chemo, 6 1/2 months worth. I'm in remission and 6 month montitoring now. No family should have to deal with this. No woman or fetus should have to die. More research continues to progress as does awareness. Brigham's holds this exclusive choriocarcinoma at gift page https://giving.brighamandwomens.org/choriocarcinoma
+4 votes
Apr 7, 2016
tlinsy14 230 points
Join more than 400,00 caring followers and visit Jenna's memorial facebook page "Twice Blessed: Jenna's Legacy" to see continued updates on Jenna's twin girls.
+4 votes
Apr 8, 2016
Ckperrotta 220 points
Precious story it's good to make people aware of this deadly cancer, her gentle life continues in the smiles of her twin daughters
+4 votes
Apr 8, 2016
Joeyandkaren 260 points
I have been following Jenna's story, and her twins from the beginning. Beautiful girls and what a bittersweet blessing!
+3 votes
Apr 8, 2016
sophia0109 100 points
This family touched the hearts of many in central new York and it is an honor to have the family post updates
Lbaribeau 190 points
No one is more kind than Jenna!
+2 votes
Apr 7, 2016
anonymous
thank you
+2 votes
Apr 7, 2016
anonymous
128016
+2 votes
Apr 8, 2016
Marie S
I followed this family's story from the beginning and continue to receive the updates on the girls. It was so heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. They had tremendous community support, prayers and donations. God bless each of them and there supporters.
+2 votes
Apr 8, 2016
dawnmd 190 points
If I could vote a thousand times I would so bittersweet Jenna was an amazing beautiful inside and out young lady and have two little girls growing up just like her I have followed this story from the very beginning so grateful to the family for sharing
+2 votes
Apr 8, 2016
Judy60 160 points
Heaven received a beautiful Angel
+1 vote
Apr 8, 2016
SusiePreston 160 points
Jenna such an beautiful angel inside and out. In heaven looking down with such love for her sweet daughters, and all those that love them and loved her..Always with them..
+1 vote
Apr 8, 2016
Anne Hinman 170 points
My name is Anne Hinman and as soon as I read the first story on Jenna and her beautiful twins I felt a connection to her. I strongly believe she is a presence everyday in those sweet girls lives. Thank you to the friends that post the updates-seeing those babies grow is so special. Even though Jenna is not here physically she is there guardian angel.
+1 vote
Apr 8, 2016
Scuttitta 160 points
I have followed this story from the beginning. My heart weighs so heavy for these girls and Jenna's family every time I read their update, but at the same time I feel so much love! I truly believe Jenna is an angel:)
+1 vote
Apr 8, 2016
beachgoer24 180 points
What an amazing family who shared their heartbreaking story and are now raising their beautiful granddaughters. I've followed their story from the very beginning.  Keep the posts coming.
+1 vote
Apr 8, 2016
bakramer 170 points
Jenna was blessed with the love of her family and especially her two friends that continue to keep her memory alive.  They are also reminding us of the cancer that took her life leaving precious little girls without a mommy.  Thoughts and prayer to her family.  Praying for the cure.
+1 vote
Apr 9, 2016
grammynana51 180 points
Been trying to vote for this but not having any luck.  I have followed Jenna and her twins for so long and feel a special bond as I two am a mother of twins, now 38 years old with children of their own.  This family is amazing.
0 votes
Apr 8, 2016
janarchibeque 140 points
how do we vote
0 votes
Apr 8, 2016
start-the-fire 110 points
Right above her photo, on the left side, there is an green and blue up and down arrow, with an orange number beside it. You have to register or log in first, then click the up arrow.
Renee Barnhart 940 points
I remember watching the FB page day after day and watching not only Jenna getting better but the twins getting stronger.  Jenna is forever their angel in Heaven watching over them and all of you~
0 votes
Apr 8, 2016
hugme41 150 points
I have been following Jenna's story since it began.  Jenna is gone but she lives on in her beautiful little babies.
0 votes
Apr 8, 2016
Michele Popps 150 points
Most courageous patient I've ever seen.  She was a warrior!
0 votes
Apr 13, 2016
Sandra Ellingson All 180 points
I followed Jenna's story all the way
0 votes
Apr 13, 2016
jmkuc2000 100 points
Such an emotional journey