Wife who lost newborn daughter now saying goodbye to husband

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CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. — A West Michigan woman still grieving the loss of her baby girl is now preparing to say goodbye to her husband.

According to WXMI, Kelly and Jake Francis were only dating for six months when Jake was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Fortunately, Jake was able to beat it with one round of chemo.

The couple married, and Jake was cancer-free for five years until he was diagnosed with a different form of testicular cancer. They were told this cancer would ultimately take Jake's life.

Still, the couple wanted to be a family. Kelly got pregnant and the couple learned they were having twins: a boy and a girl.

“I was so overwhelmed and blessed of course and feeling so grateful that I had two children,” Kelly told WXMI. “But, I was scared because I knew someday I’d be raising them on my own.”

At 17 weeks, the couple learned their daughter Avery had multicycstic dysplastic kidneys, which prevented her lungs from growing. Avery died shortly after birth.

While grieving the loss of their daughter, they rejoiced in the life of their son, Evan. With Jake’s cancer progressing, he was given six months to live in January.

While Kelly and Jake have reached their goal of expanding their family, the physical separation once Jake is gone isn’t going to stop them from being whole.

“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.”

Family and friends are hosting a fundraiser in Michigan on Friday. They’re also raising donations through PayPal. Upon logging in, a gift can be donated to kenziepepp@gmail.com.


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  • Nathasha

    You are a very strong woman for dealing with everything your going threw..may God be with you…and your son…..your baby girl and husband are in a better place and can be with eachother looking down on you….I’ll keep you in my prayers…

  • Tami

    “I feel like we were blessed with twins because Jake is too good of a father not to be one in heaven,”

    WOW! You have such strength and faith! That is a wonderful way to honor your husband and daughter. I am so proud of you. Prayers for (continued) peace of mind and (continued) strength.

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