"God is the only one who knows what my future holds. I will pray for the impossible but will accept my journey ahead the best I can. There will be great days and there will be very hard days. With all the wonderful support from my family and friends, I know I will be OK."

 

gina storyGina and Will were college sweethearts at Florida State University. They married soon after graduating, and Gina began working as a pediatric nurse while Will went to work in the banking industry. Within a few years, the young couple was blessed with two childen, Clayton and Lexi.

Gina was seven months pregnant with her third child when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2010. She began chemotherapy but could not take any of the medications to offset the side effects of the treatment because of her pregnancy. She was induced at 34 weeks and gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Preston.

After Preston’s birth, Gina’s doctors began aggressively attacking the cancer. Gina underwent six months of chemotherapy, a radical double mastectomy, and six weeks of daily radiation treatment. During those difficult months, Gina began chronicling her story for family and friends. She recorded her positive and negative feelings and wrote about the little things that got her through each day. By the summer of 2011, Gina and Will were optimistic that the treatment had been successful, and things settled down for their young family for a couple of months.

Their world was soon torn apart again, however, when new scans revealed that Gina’s cancer had metastasized and spread to her lungs. Still optimistic yet realistic, Gina opted again for an aggressive treatment and underwent more chemotherapy. Her will to fight impressed everyone who knew her, but it was the strong faith evident in her writing and actions that began to inspire everyone who heard her story. Determined to do what she could to stop the spread of the disease, Gina also put her full trust in God. On September 23, 2011 she wrote, "God is the only one who knows what my future holds. I will pray for the impossible but will accept my journey ahead the best I can. There will be great days and there will be very hard days. With all the wonderful support from my family and friends, I know I will be OK."

Gina began a second clinical trial at MD Anderson in May 2012. Within a few weeks, she again became very ill, and this time her doctors discovered that the cancer had progressed to her brain. Faced with a very grim prognosis but determined to make it home to Florida, Gina underwent radiation treatments and respiratory therapy. On June 10, she wrote, "It's definitely been a roller coaster of a couple days, but I have to say I haven't felt alone once. I feel like God is right here with me. Holding my hand, providing me peace of mind and loving me. … God is good!"

Two weeks later, Gina amazed her family and friends by regaining the strength to travel home by air ambulance. Surrounded by those who loved her most, Gina passed away on June 29, 2012.

Throughout Gina’s ordeal, she displayed courage and strength while continuing to be a devoted wife, steadfast friend, and loving mother. Through her blogging, Gina also shared her remarkable faith and optimism with thousands of people, many of whom never had the chance to meet her. Today, The Gina McReynolds Foundation continues to share the story of Gina’s faith while raising money to help young mothers battling breast cancer find the support they need to celebrate the great days and make it through the very hard ones.

 

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