A smile is the one thing Jamie Snider took with her wherever she went. The 30-year-old Fresno, California woman flashed it to make friends, and used it to comfort them when they were down.
“This is a good one of her and her brother,” said her friend Larina Campanile as she spotted a photo of a smiling Snider. “Little goofballs. But that was her smile, all the time.”
Snider shared her smile with her two daughters, Aubrey and Maddy, even as she fought to stay healthy over the last few months. She’d already beaten cancer once, lost an ovary in the process, and gotten pregnant with twins to her surprise and joy, only to find out the cancer had come back. She had intensive treatment at the Stanford Medical Center through the pregnancy, including chemotherapy, and she beat the cancer again.
So last week, bald and bursting at the belly, Snider flashed her signature smile on Facebook.
” ‘Tomorrow will be a great day,’ ” Campanile read from the post. ” ‘God has been by my side the whole time. All your prayers and love have kept me going as well. Wish me luck. I’m having a C-section at 7 and then a radial hysterectomy right after. I’ll be fine. Thank you, God, for keeping me positive through all the hard times.’ And that was her last post.”
Snider got through the surgeries, but a day later, her heart failed and she died.
“What gives me peace in my heart is she got to see those babies and hold them and be with them a little bit,” Campanile said.
Camila and Nico came prematurely, and family members say they’re tiny, but they’re also healthy. Friends are hoping they’ll grow up with their mother’s smile and her positivity, despite their loss.
Three GoFundMe pages aim to raise money for Snider’s children and her family, and for a memorial service next week at NorthPointe church where her friends can say goodbye – and sift through the memories and the photos.
And on the subject of photos, that pre-delivery shot on Facebook may not have been her last.
“Maybe she’s in the clouds,” said her friend Sarah Lowe. “They happened to look up.”
On Tuesday, just after their mother was cremated, Aubrey and Maddy spotted an unusually shaped cloud. To them, it resembled a face they knew — with a pronounced nose like their mom’s and a big smile too — as it watched over them at their home.
If you’d like to help Snider’s family, her children, or with her memorial service, you can go to the GoFundMe pages below: