When Jenny Appleford, a beloved California-based “mommy influencer,” received the devastating news in July that she had stage 4 lung cancer that had spread to her brain, her world turned upside down. Doctors gave her a heartbreaking prognosis, estimating that she might have only six to nine months left to live. But in the face of this dire news, Jenny decided to make the most of her time with her family.
After two long years of battling cancer, the treatments had taken their toll on Jenny’s body, causing her hair to thin and fall out. In a touching YouTube video shared with her 112,000 loyal followers, Jenny, now 36, bravely revealed her changing appearance. She sat beside her supportive husband, Kyle Appleford, as she shared her emotional journey.
Jenny’s scalp now displayed patches of hair, with tufts at the back of her head and a few wispy strands in the mostly hairless areas. But instead of letting the loss of her hair bring her down, Jenny decided to embrace it with the help of her two young children, Ellis, 7, and Winnie, 3.
She enlisted their assistance in applying makeup and trimming her thinning hair, aiming to resemble her bald Barbie doll. During this heartwarming process, her children affectionately compared her to a “grandpa” with her new hairstyle. Jenny hoped that this bonding experience would help her family cope with the difficult reality of her illness.
In the video, Jenny expressed her concern for Winnie, her “very smart” 4-year-old daughter, who struggled to comprehend her mother’s terminal condition. Jenny acknowledged the emotional toll it must take on such a young child and decided to seek therapy to support Winnie during this challenging time.
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Shaving off the remaining hair was a symbolic gesture, an attempt to release some of the emotional weight that cancer had brought into their lives. The result was nothing short of heartwarming. Jenny’s children and husband rallied around her, making her feel “really special and beautiful” during this vulnerable moment.
Later in the video, when Jenny debuted her freshly shaved head, Kyle couldn’t help but express his admiration. He lovingly described it as “the most gorgeous thing” he had ever seen. Jenny, who had shed many tears in the days leading up to this moment, felt a sense of pride that she didn’t cry on this day.
Losing her hair was not a new experience for Jenny, as she had faced previous treatments that caused hair loss. However, this time, it was different. It left her completely bald, a visual reminder of her ongoing battle with cancer.
Jenny’s journey with cancer began in 2021 when she was diagnosed with inoperable stage 3 non-small cell adenocarcinoma, a form of lung cancer, despite never having smoked. Throughout her battle, she documented her experiences on YouTube, amassing a community of 117,000 subscribers who have supported her every step of the way.
Her treatment journey has been grueling, involving chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries, and a multitude of medications. Unfortunately, the cancer spread to her lymph nodes and brain last year, progressing to stage 4.
Earlier this month, Jenny faced one of the most heart-wrenching moments as a mother when she had to tell her children that she was dying. The news was equally devastating for her husband, Kyle, who described it as making him “sick to my stomach.”
To alleviate some of the financial burden associated with her medical bills, alternative treatments, insurance, and travel for treatments, the family set up a GoFundMe campaign. Thanks to the generosity of supporters, they raised over $135,000, which will also help ensure that Jenny’s remaining time is as comfortable as possible.
While they haven’t given up hope, Jenny and Kyle recognize the formidable challenge they are facing with lung cancer. In a previous video, Kyle emphasized the need to be realistic, acknowledging that lung cancer is an exceptionally tough adversary.
Despite the difficult journey ahead, Jenny has one steadfast rule: to be surrounded by “positivity.” She is determined to make the most of her time with her family, cherishing every moment and embracing the love and support of her devoted husband and children.