EARLY YEARS: Roanoke County mom shares her struggle with cancer during pregnancy in the latest “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book

Lynn Baringer will have a book signing and presentation September 21st at 6:30 pm at St. John Lutheran Church in Roanoke
Lynn Baringer says she'll donated proceeds from her sales of the new "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book to Carilion Cancer Foundation
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 6:50 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -Becoming a published writer wasn’t something Lynn Baringer thought would ever happen.

But then, her life’s journey has taken many unexpected turns.

The one constant-- her unwavering faith.

“Don’t ever give up hope. Don’t listen to anyone but God. God is in control,” says Baringer.

Baringer’s faith was a lifeline for her during her nine year battle with cancer.

She was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in September of 20-13.

That same day, she found out she was pregnant with her son, Dominic.

Fear, joy, just heartache. I didn’t know what to do.

Lynn and her husband, Lincoln already had two children.

Because of the risks, her doctor urged her to terminate the pregnancy.

It was an option she never considered.

At that point in Roanoke, no one had treated a pregnant patient who had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I was worried, so we sought help from other doctors,” says Baringer.

Her cancer battle took Lynn and her husband to doctors in Columbus, Ohio.

“I went through nine months of grueling, nauseating chemotherapy treatment while pregnant,” says Baringer.

Her son, Dominic was born, weighing four pounds and eight ounces.

He required oxygen for a few hours, but otherwise, was healthy.

“We named him Dominic, because it means “belonging to God,” because we just gave it all to God, because we didn’t know what else to do,” says Baringer.

After Dominic’s birth, Baringer underwent three more treatments.

Despite the chemo, the cancer was still there.

“I didn’t know what God was doing. He delivered this beautiful miracle and then nothing was going on for me, so I mean, it was scary,” says Baringer.

From there, Lynn went through more treatment, but the cancer was a stubborn enemy.

Local doctors next suggested the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

But hopes were slim.

“The doctor grabbed Lincoln at the door and said, I don’t think your wife will make it to Christmas,” says Baringer.

It was on that trip home from New York that Baringer reached a turning point-- a clinical trial she found online.

Her local physician, Doctor Fintel was able to open the trial for her, and her church hosted a healing prayer ceremony.

“They had me repeat the verse, Psalm 118, I shall not die, but I shall live and declare the good works of the Lord,” says Baringer.

Her long ordeal continued with a new treatment plan- radiation, a bone marrow transplant and more chemo.

“So, going through that treatment was just awful. I can’t even -- it was the worst pain ever of my life,” she says.

But in February of this year, Baringer heard the news she was waiting for.

She was finally cancer-free.

“Part of my healing process, too was I wrote about my story, and I submitted it to “Chicken Soup for the Soul, “and I didn’t hear anything for a really long time, so I assumed they weren’t concerned about it,” says Baringer.

But in July, she learned that her story, “Saving Two Lives” would be included in the book, “Chicken soup for the Soul: Miracles and the Unexplainable.”

It’s coming out on September 13th.

“It’s just very healing to know that others can read my story, and others can -- maybe it can help them, give them hope, when doctors can’t,” says Baringer.

She will be doing a book signing and presentation on Wednesday, September 21st at 6:30 P-M at St. John Lutheran Church

in Roanoke. And Baringer says that 100% of the book sale proceeds from her will go to the Carilion Cancer Foundation.

One other important note, Washington National Insurance Company bought 1,000 books for all of their employees and will make a $10,000 donation to The Carilion Clinic Foundation to build a new Cancer Center, according to Baringer.