“Now, the one thing I was scared of is happening,” Jennifer Sabounchi told KING.

When Sabounchi was a child, she watched her 38-year-old mother get diagnosed with cancer and die at age 45. At 37 years old, Sabounchi has been diagnosed with the same genetic cancer.


According to GoFundMe, the Edmonds, Washington, mom was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer and has a 16 percent chance of living for five years. Doctors told her:

“Your life will never be the same again.”

Sabounchi’s cancer has spread to her brain and certain bones and is becoming resistant to treatment. However, despite the potentially devastating effects on her marriage, child, family, and self, Sabounchi is grateful.


As she wrote on GoFundMe:

I’m so scared guys. But I am choosing to walk through my fears by faith and give my life EVERYTHING that I’ve got. I have SO much to live for. Despite the prognosis and time I’m supposed to have left. I LOVE life. My life. Thank you God for the life you have given me.

In an interview with KING, Sabounchi explained it was her father’s words that encouraged her to shift her perspective of being gravely ill:

“I don’t care if you’re here for a year or a day, you cannot stop dreaming.”

The words motivated Sabounchi to live life to the fullest; appreciating every day and helping 3-year-old, Ahzi, to do the same:

“What I get to show Ahzi is that dreams do come true and to never count herself out because I should be in that bed planning a will, but I’m not doing it.”

Since being diagnosed last year, Sabounchi and her husband, Kevin, bought the house they wanted and Sabounchi began her dream job as a writer for a local paper. According to KING, on most days, Sabounchi and her daughter dress up in princess costumes even if they have company over.


Sabounchi and her family also recently took a dream vacation to Disneyland. It’s all part of appreciating life to the fullest. As Sabounchi told KING:

“I have so much more to be thankful for than I do to complain about, that’s for sure. We are determined to continue to find life in my death, and so far we’re living. We’re living.”

Sabounchi has shared one of the hardest parts of her diagnosis is knowing her daughter will experience what she had to as a child:

Knowing what it’s like to lose a mom too soon, I don’t want my sweet little 2 year old to have to experience the same pain.

[…] Every day is “will this be the last time…” So I try to squeeze my little Ahzi real tight and often to show her how much her mommy loves her.

She wrote: “It breaks my heart that she knows life isn’t the same as it was. That her mom is sick. I often pray that her happy little free spirit will remain intact after watching me deteriorate.”

Jennifer Sabounchi/Facebook

Sabounchi has refused to let fear consume her, instead choosing to make the most of every moment:

I am pouring every bit of myself I have left into the time I have left on this earth. I hope to bring love to my family, my friends and I hope to leave a legacy behind so that I’m not forgotten. This life is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

Adding: “And I am so very thankful for the amount of time God has given me. Even though I am desperately fighting for more.”

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