For Jessica Herbert and her young family, this should be a very happy time.
The mom of two is scheduled to deliver baby number three today. But after her baby is born, instead of spending time with her newly expanded family, the Utah resident will be rushed to undergo an MRI, and then begin chemotherapy to treat a rare, incurable form of brain cancer.
Herbert, 30, learned of her diagnosis after suffering a seizure in March. When examined, doctors discovered a four-inch tumor, called an anaplastic astrocytoma, on the right side of her brain. The median survival rate for the cancer is two to three years.
The diagnosis was “devastating and life-altering,” Jessica told TODAY.
Herbert has chosen to remain positive, and believes that by doing so, she may help her prognosis and allow her family a smoother journey.
The chemotherapy and radiation she will receive may shrink the tumor.
Herbert’s husband, Eric, and daughters Harlow, 5, and Harper, 3, are cherishing the memories they are making with their wife and mom.
“I do not take anything for granted anymore,” Eric told TODAY. “Each moment is a gift and we have no idea when the gifts are going to stop coming, so we have to cherish each one.”
The family plans to spend as much time together while Jessica is still feeling well as possible.
“Jessica is hands down the strongest woman I that I have ever met. She inspires me daily to be a better person, better father, and better husband. Our real hope in all of this is that we can help to inspire people to stay positive and never give up no matter the situation,” Eric added.
Jeremiah and Lindsay Johnson, Jessica’s brother and his wife, created a You Caring Fundraising page to raise money for the family to travel and make lasting memories.
“Our wish is for Jessica and her family to enjoy every minute they have together,” they wrote, describing Jessica as “creative, vibrant, and kind,” and “a woman of hope and faith.”
The page has so far raised $27,037 of the $30,000 goal. All of the money raised will go towards allowing the family to go on adventures together, taking photos and videos for the girls to remember their mother by along the way.
“Time is all I can give my loved ones,” Jessica said. “My goal for the future is to stay as positive as I possibly can and make the most out of my time with my family and loved ones.”
So far, the family has been on a trip to Disneyland and to a beach town in California.
“For me, positivity is key. It definitely doesn’t come easily, but in order to help your body heal, a good state of mind is really the best you can do for yourself,” Jessica added.