“Too good of a father not to be one in heaven,” Wife who lost daughter prepares to say goodbye to husband

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CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. (WXMI) - Jake and Kelly Francis started dating in 2004.

While they've known each other since high school, it wasn't until their college years that they fell in love.

"It just instantly turned from a friendship to a relationship," Kelly told WXMI.

After just six months of dating, Jake was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

"He did amazing," Kelly said. "One round of chemo and kicked its butt."

Jake's cancer went into remission and the couple got married in 2007.

"When you reach five years of not having cancer, you're considered cured," Kelly said. "So, August of 2009, we were so celebratory that we made it through the five years. We never have to worry about this again."

Little did they know, the couple would suffer another unthinkable blow.

Jake was diagnosed with a different form of testicular cancer.

This time, treatment wouldn't help.

Doctors told the Francis family that this form of cancer would ultimately take his life.

Still, the couple wanted a family.

Kelly got pregnant and learned they were having twins.

"I was so overwhelmed and blessed, of course, and feeling so grateful that I had two children," Kelly said. "But, I was scared because I knew someday I'd be raising them on my own."

While coping with Jake's deteriorating health, the couple got another devastating diagnosis.

At 17 weeks pregnant, Kelly and Jake learned their daughter, Avery, had multicycstic dysplastic kidneys, which prevented her lungs from growing.

Avery died shortly after birth.

"We did have 63 minutes with her and I will forever treasure that amount of time," Kelly said.

While grieving the loss of their daughter, they rejoiced in the life of their son, Evan.

However, Jake's cancer continued to progress.

In January, he was given six months to live.

Kelly, a physical therapist, stays at home to help Jake, who is no longer able to continue his work as a nurse.

While Kelly and Jake have reached their goal of expanding their family, the physical separation once Jake is gone isn't going to stop them from being whole.

"I feel like we were blessed with twins because Jake is too good of a father not to be one in heaven," Kelly said. "He gets Avery in heaven and I get Evan here."

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