A West Michigan mom is preparing to say goodbye to her husband only six months after the couple tragically lost their newborn daughter.
Jake and Kelly Francis have been a couple since 2004, and just half a year into their relationship, Jake was diagnosed with testicular cancer. At the time, Jake bravely fought the disease and went into remission. By 2007, the two decided to get married, and by 2009, Jake was told he was cancer-free.
“When you reach five years of not having cancer, you’re considered cured,” Kelly explained to Fox News. “So, August of 2009, we were so celebratory that we made it through the five years we never have to worry about this again.”
Sadly, Jake was soon diagnosed with another form of testicular cancer, but this time, doctors told him he would not make it. Heartbroken, the couple decided they needed to try to have children together, and eventually, Kelly became pregnant with twins.
In yet another tragic turn of events, in the midst of the couple preparing to welcome twins into the world, Jake and Kelly learned that one of their twins, a girl, had multicycstic dysplastic kidneys, ultimately causing her lungs not to grow. The couple found this out when Kelly was 17 weeks pregnant, and shortly after giving birth to their twin son and daughter, the newborn girl Avery died.
“We did have 63 minutes with her and I will forever treasure that amount of time,” Kelly said.
Despite their loss, Jake and Kelly celebrated their newborn son Evan. Sadly, however, Jake’s cancer worsened and in January, he was given six months to live.
Now, Kelly is at home taking care of her newborn son and her dying husband, all the while grieving the loss of her daughter, and supportive friends are trying to raise money to help them.
“Their hearts are just so genuinely good and caring and loving,” McKenzie Pepper, a friend of Jake and Kelly, said. “They’ve been a huge inspiration to so many people. We really are asking the community to reach out and support them financially. It would be amazing to give them the gift of time, together as a family, so that Kelly doesn’t have to worry about working. So, they can spend as much time together with Evan.”
Even though life is challenging and tragic, Kelly has a positive outlook on things.
“I feel like we were blessed with twins because Jake is too good of a father not to be one in heaven,” Kelly explained. “He gets Avery in heaven and I get Evan here.”