A California mother who beat cancer while she was pregnant with twins has met her death just a day after giving birth.
The 30-year-old Jamie Snider of Fresno fought to stay healthy in the last few months for her two daughters, Aubrey and Maddy, and their twin siblings on the way, which their mom named Camila and Nico.
Winning The War
Snider was the face of triumph when she conquered cancer for the second time after intensive medical treatment at Stanford Medical Center, including chemotherapy. But a day after her C-section and a radial hysterectomy, her heart gave up, and she died Friday, March 17.
Through it all, she glowed with positivity and gratefulness.
“I’ll be fine. Thank you, God, for keeping me positive through all the hard times,” Snider wrote in her last post on Facebook.
Snider’s friend, Larina Campanile, recalled the good times and what gives her consolation amid her friend’s passing.
“What gives me peace in my heart is she got to see those babies and hold them and be with them a little bit,” she said.
The twins were tiny premature babies but also came out healthy. According to a GoFundMe set up to support their medical expenses, their father, Heath Coigny, will relocate to Pelham, New Hampshire, as soon as they are ready to travel.
“Jamie was such a bright light on this planet. Everything about her was infectious from her beautiful bright green eyes, her big smile, her laugh and her hugs!” wrote family friend Melinda LeFurge on GoFundMe. “You couldn't know Jamie and not love her and want to be around her.”
Cancer Treatment During Pregnancy
It’s a paradox to see a woman try to give life to a child in her womb while she must battle a potentially fatal disease such as cancer. It is often a matter of timing, where the pregnancy has nothing to do with the emergence of the cancer.
Studies, for instance, suggest that breast tumors detected during pregnancy are more likely to be hormone-receptor negative. This means they are not nourished by higher estrogen and progesterone levels during pregnancy.
Cancer of any form is estimated in 1 out of 1,000 pregnancies, making it quite rare. The incidence, however, seems to be on the rise likely due to the growing number of women today who are delaying motherhood.
"As women age, their odds of developing cancer go up — so if they wait until their 30s or 40s to have a baby, it’s more likely that a pregnancy and a cancer diagnosis will happen at the same time," explained Dr. Jennifer Litton to Health.com.
The good news, according to Litton, is the patient can be treated without harming the fetus, which appears to be the case with Snider. This often means continuing cancer treatment as the pregnancy proceeds.
In recent research conducted by Litton’s team, pregnant women receiving breast cancer care fared as well or better than women who were not pregnant during cancer therapy.