Jenn’s pedicurist first noticed a pea-sized bump on the top of her right foot while massaging her feet during an appointment in 2013. “I had never noticed it before and didn’t think much of it. Because I was pregnant, I didn’t really do much about it,” the North Carolina mum told People. But when Jenn got pregnant with her second child a year later, she noticed that lump had grown to the size of a golf ball, she told TODAY.
After she gave birth, Jenn had the bump removed and biopsied. It turned out that she had a rare, slow-growing tumour known as low-grade myxoid sarcoma. Doctors told her that it had the potential to spread and could kill her. "I was shocked and kind of numb, and I heard maybe a third of what he said after that,'' she told TODAY.
Jenn had regular scans on her foot and lungs (sarcoma can spread there) for two years after that. But in January, doctors found that her tumour had come back.
She was given two treatment options at that point: She could have another surgery that would severely lower the functionality of her foot with the possibility that the cancer could come back, or she could have her leg amputated below the knee.
Jenn’s doctor told her, per People, “You should think about your children and watching your kids walk down the aisle and if that’s the most important thing in your life, then you should have an amputation.”
Jenn told People that the decision wasn’t an easy one, and she and her husband Miles spent a lot of late nights talking about it. Ultimately, she decided to move forward with the amputation.
“I did this because I love life. I’m not one to miss out on life. I have a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old who I love more than you can love someone else and the idea of them growing up without me just broke my heart,” she told People. “Anything I could do to be there for them, I was willing to do—and that’s what I did.”
Jenn is a health and wellness coach, and she decided to try to turn her experience into a positive for other people. She posted a video on Facebook asking people to #MoveforJenn on the day of her surgery (March 12). The overall message, Jenn said, was for people to get out and move because they still could.
Jenn now has a prosthetic foot, and she posted a super-positive video of herself learning to walk again.
Now Jenn's working toward her goal of running a 5K by the end of the year.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US