CEDAR SPRINGS, MI — Six months after losing her daughter, a West Michigan mother is now preparing to say goodbye to her husband. Jake and Kelly Francis have known each other since high school, and started dating in 2004.
The couple’s six month relationship was dealt a big scare after Jake was diagnosed with testicular cancer, according to WXMI.
The couple married in 2007 despite the diagnosis.
Two years later came a big victory when Jake was able to celebrate five cancer-free years. “When you reach five years of not having cancer, you’re considered cured,” Kelly said.
However in the midst of the celebration, Jake was diagnosed with a different form of testicular cancer. This time, the treatment won't help and the cancer will ultimately take his life.
But that didn’t stop them from creating the family they’ve always wanted. Kelly got pregnant and learned they were having twins: a boy and a girl.
While coping with Jake’s failing health, the couple received yet another devastating diagnoses.
At only 17 weeks pregnant, Kelly and Jake learned their daughter Avery had multicycstic dysplastic kidneys, which prevented her lungs from growing. She died shortly after birth.
“We did have 63 minutes with her and I will forever treasure that amount of time,” Kelly said.
While handling the loss of their daughter, they rejoiced in the life of their son, Evan. Jake’s cancer continued to progress. He was given six months to live in January.
Kelly now stays at home to help Jake, who is no longer able to continue working as a nurse. The couple’s friend McKenzie Pepper is calling upon the community to help them out.
They are also raising donations through PayPal. Upon logging in, a gift can be donated to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I feel like we were blessed with twins because Jake is too good of a father not to be one in heaven,” Kelly said. “He gets Avery in heaven and I get Evan here.”