Young Mother Dies Fighting Rare Placental Cancer After Giving Birth to Twins

National   |   Rebecca Downs   |   May 9, 2014   |   12:41PM   |   Washington, DC

On Monday, May 5, wife and mother Jenna Hinman from upstate New York died at the age of just 26 years old. She had been diagnosed with a rare placental cancer but was still able to give birth to her twin girls, Kinleigh and Azlynn on March 3. The baby girls were delivered nine weeks early by an emergency C-section and weighed only 9 pounds but are doing well.

Reporting from the New York Daily News includes several pictures of Jenna and Brandon, on their wedding day and with Jenna pregnant, as well as pictures of the twins. Jenna was rushed to Crouse Hospital in Syracuse on March 3 after she had difficult breathing, where it was discovered that she had stage 3 of the cancer and tumors inside her body.

jennaAnother New York outlet, wrote of Jenna, and included statements from her uncle John Warter, who said she was surrounded by her family when she died. The source also wrote of information for funeral services as well as where to send sympathy cards and donations for the “Hinman Fund.” The obituary for Jenna also contains an address for a trust fund for her twin girls.

Jenna also received national coverage though, from ABC News. Susan Donaldson James via Good Morning America tells a touching story of the Hinmans, and mentions initial difficulties of Jenna getting pregnant and a photo shoot done of the twins which Jenna was unable to attend, but had assisted in picking out her favorite colors for backdrops:

“She’s probably the most kind-hearted person I ever met,” Hinman said of his wife. “She would go out of her way for anyone, give them the shirt off her back.”

The couple had difficulty getting pregnant because of his multiple deployments to Europe and Afghanistan. “We never had a solid amount of time together,” he said.

But just before another deployment, they got the good news. “I got to stay back,” he said. “It was amazing.”

Just last weekend, Syracuse photographer Sarah Born did a photo shoot of the Hinman twins with their father and grandparents. Jenna Hinman was unable to attend, but helped Born select the theme for the shoot, choosing a pink backdrop for one, as it was her favorite color.

Another photo incorporated peach, the color for choriocarcinoma, and a third was against the U.S. flag, a nod to the family’s patriotism.

Jenna died of complications from pneumonia, although she had been improving before contracting it. A Facebook page, “Prayers for Jenna,” was set up in support of Jenna, featuring a wedding photo, ribbons for choriocarcinoma (the form of cancer Jenna had) and pictures of the twin girls, Jenna and her husband, U.S. Army Sgt. Brandon Hinman. Since the page was created on March 12, it has had over 297,000 likes.

A May 5 from Jenna’s two best friends announced her death. Although it was said that they “may not post again right away…” this inspiring post, referring specifically to her daughters, was up the very next day:

Jenna did NOT lose her battle with cancer. She beat the cancer in a way almost no one ever does.

The type of cancer she had almost always claims the life of the child, not the parent. Jenna sacrificed herself to save her two children. She defeated the cancer before it ever hurt the two most beloved people to her in the world.



She fulfilled her role as a mother in a way almost no one else could have. Her body took the blow and saved her children.

Just as her husband has chosen to readily lay down his life and protect the ones he loves, Jenna has as well. In the most powerful way possible.

Jenna has made the ultimate sacrifice. And in doing so her children are blessed, not just with the love of God, but by the true undying and absolute love of their wonderful mother who died to protect them.

It might be hard to keep faith now, but God will reward the truly selfless Hinman family. Jenna is with the man upstairs right now, freed from her ailing body, her ultimate job as a mother is done. She can now sit back and watch her husband raise her two children that she died to save.

She didn’t just beat the cancer. She destroyed it and never let it touch her two precious children.