Carrie DeKlyen started having migraines in March. A doctor’s visit revealed she had a mass on her brain and a later surgery revealed it was glioblastoma, a highly malignant brain tumor. After enrolling in a clinical trial, Carrie found out she was pregnant. But proceeding with any cancer treatments would mean she would have to terminate the pregnancy—so she decided to refuse treatment.
“Me and my wife, we are people of faith,” Carrie’s husband, Nick DeKlyen told USA Today. “We love the Lord with everything in us. We talked about it, prayed about it.”
He continued, “I asked her, ‘What are you thinking?’ She said, ‘All the treatments, I’m not doing any of them.'”
And just like that, her mind was made up. She was going to sacrifice her life to save her baby’s.
“We went back to the surgeon,” Nick told the publication. “He said ‘If you choose to do this, you will not live another 10 months. I promise, you will die.'”
But, Carrie thought it was worth it, if it meant she could give birth to her sixth child, a baby girl they had decided to name, appropriately, Life. They had unbelievably chosen the name Life before Carrie was diagnosed with cancer.
On Sept. 6, they had waited as long as they could, and Carrie gave birth via C-section to Life Lynn DeKlyen. Lynn was Carrie’s middle name.
Life weighed 1 pound 4 ounces at birth. Carrie had been placed on life support to keep her alive until the baby grew to a weight safe enough for delivery.
“When our daughter gets old enough, I’ll tell her the story about her brave mommy,” Nick told People magazine. “I’ll tell her that God gave her the gift of life with an awesome plan in mind and we’re not sure why mommy had to be sick and pass away to do so, but it’s all a special plan and we must trust it. I’ll tell her that mommy did this because she loves you and she is in Heaven and we’ll see her again—soon, soon.”
Once Life was born, Carrie was taken off of life support. She died on Sept. 10, according to the family’s GoFundMe page.
In the final moments, “I kissed her on the forehead and said, ‘I love you, you did it you gave our baby life and she’s doing well’ and then I let her go,” Nick told People.
Life Lynn has had some difficulty since birth, but seems to be doing well.
You can keep up to date with the family via their Cure 4 Carrie Facebook page.