A devoted mother lost her short battle with cancer, but not before making one last sacrifice to save her son.
It began in 2015. Danielle Janofsky had a cancerous mole removed and doctors told her she'd be fine. A year passed and Danielle discovered a lump in her breast. At that time she was six months pregnant with her son. The cancer had metastasized to her liver, kidney, stomach and brain. She died only weeks after doctors gave her the diagnosis.
"She was officially diagnosed with a metastasized melanoma February 9th and she passed away February 27th," Max Janofsky told WTXF, when he gave an interview to discuss the unexpected loss of his wife.
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With aggressive cancer spreading rapidly throughout her body, Danielle knew she was short on time. She made the choice to give up any last hours she might have to save her son.
"When they did the C-section they didn't think she was going to survive so that was her decision at that point," Max explained.
Three days later, Danielle died, but she gave her son a chance to live. The couple's son, Jake, is in the NICU at the University of Pennsylvania struggling to hold onto that chance.
"His lungs just can't catch up at this point. He’s on a ventilator," Max said.
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Max is also concerned about his daughter, 4-year-old Avery, who he says becomes sad sometimes since her mother passed away.
"I don’t want her to forget her mommy,” Max said. "She gets upset sometimes. We talk about her mom, look at pictures and it gets her happy again."
Although he seems hopeful that he can build a future full of happiness for his children despite the loss of their mother, Max seems less sure of his own ability to move on, telling WTXF, "For me, it's a complete shock."
"It never goes away you just day by day learn to deal with it, live with it and cope. It just doesn't go away." he added.
On Facebook, several local New Jersey police and fire departments posted about the loss and expressed their condolences for Max, who is Monroe Township K-9 police officer and a firefighter for the Williamstown Fire Company in New Jersey
"Danielle will be missed greatly and remembered by all for her selfless sacrifice to save Jake," the Cecil Fire Company wrote. "Our condolences go out to the family and friends."
A GoFundMe set up by neighbors of the Janofsky family was created to help create educational trust funds for the two children. In nine days, the crowdfunding campaign had more than $44,000 in donations.