Fort Drum soldier's wife fighting rare cancer at Crouse Hospital after giving birth to twins

Published 03/18 2014 05:08PM

Updated 03/18 2014 09:11PM

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Prayers from around the country are coming to a Central New York couple.

26-year-old Jenna Hinman, the wife of Fort Drum Army Sgt. Brandon Hinman, has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer after an emergency c-section to deliver her twin girls 10 weeks early.

The couple’s story has received national attention. Jenna’s husband, Brandon, says the support is overwhelming.

“The prayers are more than welcome and we appreciate it. And she’ll keep fighting,” he said.

On March 3, Jenna went into premature labor. After an emergency c-section, the twins were immediately taken to Crouse Hospital for more extensive care.

Doctors say about 24 hours after the delivery, Jenna was given a grim diangosis. She has choriocarcinoma, a rare cancer associated with the placenta. It quickly spread to her lungs and she was transferred to Crouse Hospital where she is now in a medically induced coma using "ECMO" therapy to help her breathe.

She’s had four rounds of chemotherapy and doctors say the treatment is helping.

“We are starting to see the results of the chemo, which is good from a cancer standpoint, but it's also suppressing her bone marrow and making her very much at risk for infection,” said Dr. David Landsberg at Crouse Hospital.

Brandon has only left his wife’s side to care for their newborns.

The children – Azlynn and Kinleigh – are both gaining strength every day in the NICU.

A few days ago, Brandon finally had an opportunity to share the update with Jenna when doctors briefly took her out of the coma.

"Just told her that I loved her and I’m right here and family is here and I’m not going anywhere – and her job is to just fight and fight and fight – and it was a good moment,” Brandon said.

On Tuesday morning, the Hinman's won another battle when doctors successfully removed blood clots from Jenna's lungs.

But her prognosis is still day to day.

"If we continue to have the run we are having - we expect to be able to get ahead of this - but there are so many obstacles. So we are optimistic, but in a real sense, this is very difficult,” said Dr. David Lansberg, Chief of Medicine at Crouse Hospital.

“This has been one big nightmare I can't wake up from – the why – everyone plays the why game. Why is this happening to me? Why now? This is supposed to be the happiest time of our life. We were trying to get pregnant for a while and it turns into a nightmare,” he said. “She is just a great person, that's why 'the why' is such a big thing, but she will get through this. I know she will.”

Brandon is originally from Weedsport and Jenna is from Port Byron.

The couple is stationed at Fort Drum where Brandon serves as a sergeant.

The family set up a Facebook page and a fundraising page to give people opportunities to offer support.

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