Pregnant and diagnosed with cancer, Dexter woman delivers healthy baby

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It was one of the happiest times of her life, a Dexter woman learned she was going to have a second baby.

But just a couple months into her pregnancy a potentially deadly diagnosis: stage three breast cancer. But her story became one of strength, hope and love.

It was the miracle they prayed for every day, a 3-pound, 15-ounce baby who survived against the odds.

"She's filled my heart more than I could even imagine," said Jenn Korican.

"I couldn't explain the feeling in words when she breathed that first breath of air," said Brad Korican.

Only eight weeks into her pregnancy with baby Riley Joy, Jenn and Brad Korican of Dexter received news that she had stage three breast cancer.

"It was a whirlwind," she said. "You don't want to ever hear those words."

Jenn was only 34.

"We decided that we weren't going to terminate and I was going to fight for the both of us," she said. "Because if they were convinced they got the cancer out, then you know what? I'm going to do everything for her, me and my family."

Jenn only discovered the lump when the pregnancy hormones caused it to become more sore. After the biopsy, doctors came up to a plan specially tailored to her and the baby.

"You don't know what you're capable of doing until you're forced to do it," Brad said.

Almost immediately she had a mastectomy. 

"I want to thank all the doctors and nurses that have taken care of us in this horrible, dark time," Jenn said.

Once Jenn reached the second trimester, she started six rounds of chemotherapy, which caused the amniotic fluid to slowly leak. Up until an emergency C-section on Monday at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor.

"We were just one day shy of 36 weeks," she said. "There were numerous times they thought she could've been delivered at 28, and after that. So the fact that we made it that far and we had gone through so much, it was just amazing to hear her cry and have her on me even though she's just the smallest little thing." 

Riley is strong, healthy, and loved by everyone - especially older sister Sophia. Jenn and Brad hope by telling their story, they may inspire others to get checked.

"If this is my purpose to educate women and to make them more aware of paying attention to your body, you know your body better than anyone else, then that's what I'm here for," Jen said. "That's what I'm going to do."

Baby Riley has already been moved out of NICU and she and mom are both recovering quickly. They will spend at least a couple more days here before going home.