SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Jenna Hinman, 26, found out she had placental cancer just after she delivered twin girls March 3. Kinleigh Ann and Azlynn Mary were born via emergency C-section at 30 weeks.
Hinman, of Syracuse, N.Y., had been fighting for her life in a medically-induced coma for the past two months as the rare cancer filled her lungs with tumors. She died Monday from complications linked to pneumonia, doctors said.
"We are heartbroken and our hearts go out to her family," Crouse Hospital spokesman Bob Allen told ABCNews.com. "She touched so many people from around the country."
Choriocarcinoma is a malignant form of gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), tumors that involve abnormal growth of cells inside a woman's uterus, according to the American Cancer Society. About one-quarter of women who develop this disease miscarry.
Her husband, U.S. Army Sgt. Brandon Hinman, told ABCNews.com, "We're hanging in there," as his wife endured chemotherapy and ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy. Hinman is stationed at Fort Drum in Watertown, N.Y.
"She's probably the most kind-hearted person I ever met," Hinman said of his wife. "She would go out of her way for anyone, give them the shirt off her back."
The couple had difficulty getting pregnant because of his multiple deployments to Europe and Afghanistan. "We never had a solid amount of time together," he said.
"Jenna did not lose her battle with cancer," her friends wrote on a Facebook page in her honor. "She beat the cancer in a way almost no one ever does. The type of cancer she had almost always claims the life of the child, not the parent. Jenna sacrificed herself to save her two children. She defeated the cancer before it ever hurt the two most beloved people to her in the world. She fulfilled her role as a mother in a way almost no one else could have. Her body took the blow and saved her children."
The twin girls are doing fine.