Jenna L. Hinman, the young Fort Drum mother of twin girls whose fight against a rare cancer touched thousands of lives, died Monday at Crouse Hospital, Syracuse, according to a post to the Facebook page Prayers for Jenna.
Her diagnosis of stage 3 choriocarcinoma spurred generous donations and prayers across the north country for Mrs. Hinman and her husband, Sgt. Brandon Hinman, stationed at Fort Drum. She was 26.
“Jenna fought this disease with everything she had, and we are so proud of her amazing courage and for blessing the world with two precious little angels,” a note posted to the page Monday night read. The note also requested privacy for Mrs. Hinman’s family and friends.
After a difficult time trying to conceive, the Hinmans learned in January they were expecting, a joy that doubled after learning they would have twins.
However, complications in the pregnancy led to the premature delivery of Kinleigh Anne and Azlynn Mary on March 3, at 30 weeks. The infants were born at Samaritan Medical Center and taken to the neonatal intensive care unit at Crouse Hospital. They went home two weeks ago.
Mrs. Hinman experienced an inexplicable drop in her oxygen levels, and doctors soon diagnosed her with choriocarcinoma, a form of cancer linked with pregnancy.
By the time the Hinmans arrived at Crouse Hospital on March 6, a group of tumors found in Mrs. Hinman’s uterus had doubled in size, her husband said, and the cancer had spread to her lungs.
Until the past weekend, Mrs. Hinman’s condition appeared to show signs of improvement, based on posts to the Facebook page and other friends. Mrs. Hinman’s condition started to deteriorate Saturday night, as her vital signs dropped and her ventilator was turned to full power. The Facebook page reported Sunday that Mrs. Hinman had pneumonia, and after that the page called for prayers until the announcement of her death Monday.
Mrs. Hinman’s story captured the attention of hundreds of thousands of people online, who donated money and held fundraisers to show support for her and her family.
All signs indicate the twins are healthy. Azlynn was listed Thursday at 6 pounds, 12 ounces, while Kinleigh was 5 pounds, 13 ounces.
Sgt. Hinman, 30, serves with the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. The Army allowed Sgt. Hinman to go on leave during the ordeal. He split his time between being with his wife at the hospital during the day and taking care of the girls at night. He and the girls were living with Mrs. Hinman’s parents, Kim and Jeff Blaisdell, in Port Byron, during her hospital stay.
A RARE DISEASE Here are some facts about choriocarcinoma, a rare form of cancer: • It affects 2 to 7 of every 100,000 pregnancies in the nation n It is more common in Asian and African countries. n The gestational trophoblastic tumors account for less than 1 percent of female reproductive system cancers. n It is a group of tumors that “involve abnormal growth cells inside a woman's uterus,” and they “start in cells that would normally develop into the placenta during pregnancy.” n Quickly spreads to organs away from the uterus. n Treatment involves intensive combination of chemotherapy n Can also be found in males, as an aggressive form of testicular cancer. Information provided by the American Cancer Society
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