Nashville woman battling cancer has baby, later dies - WNEM TV 5

Nashville woman dies after giving birth to child while battling cancer

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In December of 2012, Lakeisha Mitchell found out she was pregnant but that she also had breast cancer. (Photo used with permission of family) In December of 2012, Lakeisha Mitchell found out she was pregnant but that she also had breast cancer. (Photo used with permission of family)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Parents often make sacrifices for their own children, but few people ever expect to have to make a decision between saving their own life or the life of their unborn child.

Lakeisha Mitchell wrestled with that decision 18 months ago.

This week, those consequences came crashing down on the family that's now deeply bruised but not broken.

Unlike his 1-year-old brother, Breonus Mitchell Jr. is old enough to understand why his mother, a well-known back-up singer, is no longer sitting beside them on the couch.

"It's hard now for B.J. It's going to be hard awhile for B.J. and for us as a family trying to adjust," said Breonus Mitchell Sr., who is a pastor at Greater Grace Temple Community Church.

In December of 2012, Lakeisha Mitchell found out that she was pregnant but that she also had breast cancer.

Doctors gave her a choice with no good outcome. She could either abort her child and be treated for cancer, or give him life and suffer the consequences.

"I knew at that point what we were looking at and how serious the situation would eventually become. But for her, it was an easy decision. She made it right there, right then," her husband said.

With that, it was settled. It was the baby who would live, no matter what.

"The fundamentals of her faith caused her to make that decision. Not days later, it was just no," said Breonus Mitchell Sr.

Even as recently as this week, as Lakeisha walked through the valley of the shadow of death, there were no regrets.

"She was at peace and she was prepared. That's what I keep trying to let him know, that even though it hurts, his mom was prepared for this day, and she did her best to prepare us," said Breonus Mitchell Sr.

The pastor of 17 years admits that none of it has been easy.

"At this time, at this point, at this place in my life, I've been challenged. Do I come back to the pulpit and preach about God can, God will, God is and all the systematics about God?"

But he is resolved, nonetheless. Even in his darkest hour, he will fear no evil.

"We're hurting. We're sad. We miss her. It's hard on us. But we want people to know we're going to be OK," he said.

The family is urging other women to get regular mammograms, something that's been a challenge in the African-American community.

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