Read personal stories from our founder and Jennifer's mommy, Libby, along with other Warrior Moms and news from our Unravel team.

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she has cancer

July 19, 2014

I miss seeing her in new ways.. I miss her little arms surprising me with hugs.. and the sweet way she would talk to her baby sister. All I have now is the pictures.

Sometimes I drown in them. . Often after I write I look for the right pictures to fit in. It takes me a good deal of time to find them since I am always pretty sure what I am looking for.. and then I get lost..

In memories .. good and bad..

I look at the pictures in treatment. How beat down and tired she looked. I can see it so well now. Almost like the outline of death around her. At the time though I couldn’t tell. . somehow I was able to just see beyond the dark circles and just see my daughter. At first her eye was so jarring to me.. but at some point I just stopped noticing. Now looking back through pictures its startling to see it..

… .to remember how she was. And how in the moment I was able to forget. . .

This is a picture I came across the other day. That lead me to need to get my thoughts on this out.. The one that so perfectly describes the relationship between Jennifer and her littlest brother. The way Nicholas is leaning into her.. and her leaning onto him.. her arms wrapped around him.  He was so protective of her.. and he let her take care of him in ways he has never let me.. But then her eyes. I didn’t even notice them that night at the bowling alley. But they are glaring in this picture ..

A picture of of true love.. and impeding death.


I hate that we put her through so much. Being away from her family.. her home.. Pumping drugs into her.. Forcing her to get up early.. not eat.. be put to sleep and then woken up. I remember the way she clung to me before she went to sleep. She was scared daily.. in different ways as time went on. But every single day. It never truly got comfortable for her. Just another way I feel like I failed to protect her.

In the beginning she was so quiet before we went in for radiation. The “cuddler” who cared for baby Charlotte would barely get a nod from her. The stream of drs and nurses that we would have to talk to each morning struggled to elicit a response. But afterwards.. fear gone.. treatment over she came back to being our Jennifer. Spunky and goofy.. always good for a laugh.

But then it started to change. She was more settled into the routine. We would hop the squares to get back to the radiation room. She would proudly show the “cuddler” the way to her private waiting room.. and even show them a magic trick she had to open one of the doors. When she woke up though she was in a bad mood. Tightly wound into herself. It often took a few hours for her to relax back into herself. Unless we had a office visit. Her oncologists. ..

oh my God.. . those words hit me.. my daughter. MY baby has an oncologist. I think I am truly just hitting the realization that a child of mine has cancer.. .

..  her oncologists could always bring her out of the dumps faster that anything else ever could. I don’t know why the change happened though.. why she was so off after radiation in the latter half of treatment.. I am fighting the urge desperately right now to try to figure it out. Because all my thoughts are so negative.. thinking of her hurting/fearful/dejected. .. no good will come from living in those thoughts..

I had somebody come photograph one of these days of radiation.. to remember the moments.. Here is her posting and video of pictures from that day.

IMG_2751I just watched it.. so much stands out. How lucky I was to have that time with my 2 girls. To bond.. to try to instill a sisterhood that will carry Charlotte through a lifetime. How little baby Charlotte was.. How I wore her carrier all the time.. it was a piece of my daily look..

Just like Jennifer’s beads of courage necklace. She loved it.. but wanted me to wear it for her. I would still daily.. but I am so scared its going to break. And all the necklaces from her birthday party. Also safe in my room.. too scared to have them break on me..

My diaper bag. I loved that thing. It’s sitting near me now. Still packed from our last visit to the hospital. . when we found out it was time to take her home.. and keep her as “comfortable as possible”. We couldn’t even be told “comfortable”.. because when cancer is eating you away .. there is no comfortable I learned.


How she became know in Packard for her fashion sense. . In recovery, nurses would come over to check out her outfits. She was so proud of that.
But she had to take off her jewelry and headbands.. Everyday she wore different pieces of jewelry.. except the necklace her Daddy had given her when she was just a baby.. That she wore daily. So I got to wear them for her while she was asleep. They all seemed to really love my girls there. Jennifer often tried so hard to give them a reason to smile..

Up until right before I held her to be put *almost* to sleep. Then she let herself really need me. It was like it was just the two of us alone in the world in those precious minutes.

Lean into me. waiting for a feeling to overcome her that she hated.. but that she trusted me enough to do .. day after day.. She would go limp in my arms and I would lay her down.. Sometimes she didn’t react as I whispered “shrink tumor shrink” in her ear.. but as I wrote this day I know she always heard.. Other times she would reach for me.. begging me with the little strength she had not to go yet. .

I remember this particular day my friend was going to come take pictures of radiation treatment and the clinic visit too.. but radiation took too long, Jennifer was struggling to breathe, my friend had to get back for a meeting.. So we never got the clinic visit pictures I wanted, I figured I would do it myself another day..

 This day.. that her body has struggled so much in treatment.. when she woke up she wanted me on top of her. She needed to feel my weight on her. Oh what I wouldn’t give to relive that time with her.. I am thankful for the pictures of it.

I am trying to be aware of that now.. That I may well look back and miss this time too.. of the impact of telling people my daughter died 5 months ago.. Of still having the last tiny piece of polish on my toe from our last pedicure together. Of the numbness I realize I am still shrouded in in so many ways..

The orange bag with J.Kranz on it.. that held her supplies.. since she came back day after day.. 7 weeks of the 3.5 months that we knew..

…that we knew…

..she has cancer.

Oh my God.. oh no.


Oh my God.



She has cancer.


Oh please no.. please no.. Oh my God.. please..

She is only 6. No no no.. not her.



Gilroy Family Photographer | JLK Glitter Shoot-77c

…Until there is a cure…

  1. Erika M says:

    oh dear God if only this could be changed…my heart is ripping in two…it is so unfair and she should not have been taken from her family….where she was so loved and is so loved. JENNIFER. I will keep saying her name.

  2. Andrea says:


    Thank you for sharing such an intimate,profound,sad yet beautiful day.
    I don’t know you and your family personally but I too have a daughter once 6 but now 7 and a she too has a little brother 4 just turned five. My heart wrenches in pain for you because I to understand that bond these 2 children share. I think about your family and Jennifer (JLK )most every day. I live locally in your same town and have followed this story and then your blog and then “The day”. The day Jennifer passed. That day left my heart broken for you and your family. I will Never forget Jennifer and her life impacting change or gift is a better description she has given to me. Libby Jennifer is the most courageous person I have ever known. Please find comfort in knowing of she is so close to my heart and thoughts that she is that close to many more too.

    I am here for you as long as you need to keep on blogging if forever then that is how long you will have my support.

  3. Sarah smith says:

    If only we knew why they had to leave us…

  4. Linda Blundo says:

    Lots of hugs and so much love to you all. We love you. We love Jennifer. I was driving home today from work and “Brave” came on the radio. I immediately thought of Jennifer and I started to sing and started to cry. I sang and cried for her, for you. We love you ♡♡♡♡♡♡ LOVE4JLK♡ Always. FOREVER 6 ♡. Until there is a cure.

  5. Kristen Tredrea says:

    Oh Libby. You don’t know me and even if you did there would be nothing I could say or do to make this horror okay. I just want to say that you are always always in my thoughts and prayers. Xx

  6. Rachel bissell says:

    Oh my god, that was tough. Broke my heart. My heart aches for you and what u guys went through. I am so sorry Libby! Hugs! Big hugs!

  7. Esther McKee says:

    Oh Libby! I wish this didnt happen to JLzk to your family. I am so sorry. Hugs to you…. So much love4JLK…. Until there is a cure ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  8. Esther McKee says:


  9. Emily says:

    Oh Libby, I am so, so, so sorry she had cancer. I am so, so, sorry she had to endure those treatments. And I am so, so sorry she had to die. I look at my two girls and think of the bond they already have (4 and 10 months), and I get angry that Charlotte and Jennifer were robbed of that. This post was heart-wrenchingly honest. You asked about top 5 posts….I think this should be one. Too many people only see survivors who are thriving. Not enough get this side of the story. I wish we knew why. I am sorry she is gone. I am sorry…..

  10. Lindsey Beasley says:
  11. Lindsey Beasley says:
  12. Samantha says:

    this is not really a big thing but i cut off 10 inches of my hair and im donating it to locks of love in Jennifers memory… i know this wasnt a service that you were in need of but i wanted to be active in the fight… im proud to say i know you and you are such a strong and vulnerable woman… you are amazing… i would be a puddle of emotion…

  13. Misty says:

    Your post always take me back to my days that I had to deal with my baby girl and cancer.Just not fair our babies went through so much.I do smile sometimes though with tears in my eyes like how you talk about JLk having her fashion my little girl was the same.How scary radiation must have been for them but I remember a day mine skipped to it.Nobody can ever take the good memories from us Libby just wish stupid cancer didn’t leave us with bad too.

  14. Jennifer says:

    This post literally knocks the wind out of me. You are so correct- “there is no comfortable with cancer.” It is such an ugly disease. Lots of prayers for you today and every day.

  15. Mary says:

    Truly there are no words…

  16. Catherine says:

    So unfair …. Speechless …
    Shes so tiny
    So beautiful
    So sparkly
    So BRAVE
    We won’t forget you Jennifer
    We will always remember
    We love you Kranz family
    All of you …6 of you
    Thanks 4 sharing your deep thoughts
    Your memories
    Your JLK
    She’s girly she’s eternally beautiful
    Lots of xxxxx from far away
    We love you Jennifer

  17. Johnni Herrera says:


  18. Ava says:

    That day was the 4th to last time I saw Jennifer.
    I go back and look at that post once in a while. I just haven’t in a few months. It’s hard for me to. We were all different then. Scarred. Scared. But nothing like we are today. I want to be able to go back. I want to be able to say “screw it, work!” and to have spent all day with you.

    There’s so much more I want to say. I just don’t even know where/how to start.

  19. nichole says:

    My heart just breaks, the realness of cancer and it’s utter destruction on families and hearts. So beautiful the love between you two. You were exactly perfect for her and I see it in every picture. You were everything she needed, and you did it right. Tears fall from my eyes after seeing her beautiful pictures at Fairy’s wedding. She IS beautiful, she was beautiful here on Earth but her spirit in Heaven is tenfold. Hugs and prayers, always <3

  20. yvette says:

    Ive got a hugh lump in my throat tears streaming down my face, Libby you are a very strong and beautiful mommy and to see what you went through with you sweet angel it’s Just heart wrenching, jennifer couldn’t have asked for a more loving mommy then yourself..Thank you again and over again for sharing your precious Angel Jennifer with us, your family of 6 is a everyday thought and prayer in my life now and again I thank you..

  21. Anna DePalma says:

    I have no words. I am so sad to know what that precious child had to go through all that with no good results. SO unfair. Going through all that she deserved to live and to be able to grow up and be healthy. How it must hurt to remember those moments. I hurt for you my friend. I give you a lot of credit to be able to function each day. I know you have no choice but you are such a wonderful mom to be able to still go on and show your love to the other 3 precious children you have. May God bless you Libby and give you the strength to get through each and every day. Praying that the day will come when God gives you the comfort and strength to hurt less. Jennifer was a beautiful and such a happy little girl. Its a shame that he life ended so soon but her spirit and her love with always stay with you. When the comes that your children get to see some of this blog they will realize what wonderful parents they have. Both you and Tony are so wonderful to your kids and I know in there heart they know this..

  22. dd says:

    wow, wouldn’t it have been amazing if the treatment had worked. it just sucks that it didn’t. So sorry your time with Jennifer was cut so short. hugs to you guys.

  23. Lisa Jack says:

    Her death will NOT be in vain. She IS making a difference.

  24. Kath H says:

    “Oh no.. not her. Please God, not her.”

    I will never forgot the emotions these words carry.

    I can feel your cry in my heart and in my soul.

    You did your best for her, and she knows it. And your best was far better and came from such true love. You must be as gentle on yourself as you can. You did a great job as her mom. You did protect her. You loved and still love her with every fibre of your being. And she loves you back. You know it and you can feel it. With every sign she gives you, she is giving you that love back.

  25. Linda says:

    My heart aches for you! Hug, love and prayers.

  26. deedee says:

    “Comfort” comes in many forms, and you know in your heart that you kept her emotionally comfortable throughout her dying process. She felt your love, hope and your undying strength until her final moment. Please don’t forget this.

  27. Krista L says:

    I read and reread and watch and re-watch. I am so so so sorry.

  28. Courtney says:

    Oh Libby, my heart just shatters and your emotion just flows through in your writing. You did everything in ur being for Jennifer. You were her rock, her strength, her trust. She now lives in you always. Sending you so much love, so much love

  29. Greta says:

    You did whatever it took to give her more time and quality. My bitterness over how little time it bought Jennifer will never go away. Please, know you did all the treatments so you could love her longer. You tried your hardest Libby. I’m sure Jennifer would appreciate that.

  30. Jennie B says:

    When my brother was going in for treatment or an MRI, my mom wore his ring. Once I had that honor as well. Now, my mom wears his ring every day. Much love to you.

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