Danielle Janofsky didn’t hesitate when she heard the devastating news that her skin cancer had come back and spread. At the six month mark of her pregnancy, there was no doubt in her mind the right thing to do: she decided to trade her baby’s life for hers.
To Janofsky and her family, the choice was never really a choice.
Back in February of this year, the 30-year-old mother of one had been complaining about pain in her abdominal area that just wouldn’t let up. Finally, she decided to go to the emergency room and run tests to try and figure out what was wrong and where her pain was coming from.
The news was grim: the melanoma had returned and spread to her brain, liver, kidney and stomach.
She immediately thought of her child. In response to the diagnosis, the pregnant woman made a plan to deliver her son as soon as possible because her days were numbered. Two weeks after she heard the news and spent time with her family, the doctor’s induced her and she gave birth to her first born son.
He was delivered via C-section. Three days later, Janofsky died.
Back in May of 2015, the mother found a mole on her neck. After it was biopsied, doctors told her it was cancerous and she had it immediately removed. And since that time, she has been going in for skin cancer screenings every three months, her husband said.
However, Dr. Sapna Patel, a melanoma oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said to Today.com that “It’s possible that pregnancy is a type of immune suppression. Your body is really focusing its efforts on growing another human being, so it’s a little distracted on really taking care of itself.”
Janofsky’s family and friends now consider her a hero because “She made the selfless and loving decision to deliver baby Jake on Friday, February 24th, thereby sacrificing herself so that her son could live.”
Her newborn baby Jack only weighed 1 pound and 11 ounces when he was born at the University of Pennsylvania hospital. Right now he is in the neonatal intensive care unit and he has been diagnosed with chronic lung disease. But doctors are hopeful that they can improve baby Jack’s lungs so he can move off the ventilator, Danielle’s husband and retired staff sergeant and combat veteran, Max Janofsky told Today.com.
The young mother leaves behind her newborn baby Jack and a 4-year-old little girl named Avery. Dani’s mother, Barbara Jackson, shared her grief and struggle with the loss on Facebook:
“If love could have saved her, she would have lived a hundred years. I will miss you forever my Dani.”
The family has set up a Go Fund me page for Avery and Jack. They have set a goal of a $100,000 and so far they’ve raised $80,000.
To donate click here.
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