Following years of miscarriages, a married couple was able to have seven children, including quintuplets, in which they were able to set a Guinness World Record.
After five years of marriage, Chad and Amy Kempel first decided to have children in 2012, which unfortunately result in a miscarriage. A year later, the couple would once again face another loss after Amy became pregnant with twin boys, in which both died within an hour of their birth.
"We have seven on earth and seven in heaven," Chad told CBN News.
Despite the losses and heartbreak, Chad believed that he and his wife were destined to have a family of their own.
"I'm more glass is half full and Amy is half empty. She thought after we lost the twins that it's never gonna happen. And I was just the opposite," he said. "That finally proves we can get pregnant and have children. We're almost there and I just felt that we were meant to have children. Our ideas of life involved family."
In 2014, the Kempels successfully welcomed their first daughter, Savannah, and their second daughter, Avery, was born in 2016.
Amy, who became pregnant again in 2017, found out via ultrasound that she was going to have five babies.
"Years of trying to create a family, this was one of the times I felt the fear. We had gone through all of that loss. Visiting the cemetery to see our twin boys. We were terrified. Amy is breaking down in tears, full body crying, because her uterus had a tough time with the twins,” Chad told CBN News.
“Will she be able to hold as many as we're seeing? Fearful at the same time, I'm trying to support Amy and I'm feeling the same fear but if this works out, we'll be surrounded by all these kids,” he continued.
Additionally, Chad shared that a doctor suggested Amy should abort some of the babies as they will likely die since there were multiple fetuses.
Despite the risk involved with carrying five babies, the couple took a leap of faith and left the matter in God’s hands.
"Faith has always been at the forefront for me. I feel like there was a spiritual connection that carried us through the pregnancies," Chad said. "I'm putting this in God's hands. We don't want to do this and now we're here and it's all in Your hands."
"Please help us do this. Please don't take them from us," he would pray to God each night.
On Jan. 11, 2018, the Kemps welcomed three boys and two girls: Lincoln, Noelle, Grayson, Preston, and Gabriella.
"The day they were born at 27 weeks and 3 days, we were told minutes after birth that everyone is healthy. They are small and fragile, but everyone is healthy. It switched to extreme gratitude and every day I thank Him,” Chad said. Through all of our suffering, I learned that nothing else matters in life.”
"Don't give up on it. There are options. Don't listen to the doctors when they have a negative outlook on things," he continued. "If you have a faith, belief in things unseen, then that's the time to lean on it."
In 2019, Chad ran the Modesto Marathon, a half-marathon, in Oakland, Calif., to honor his wife and all seven children. He ran the half-marathon (13.1 miles) while pushing the quintuplets in a five-person stroller. Amy also participated with her husband as she rode a bicycle beside him.
Chad would end up making the famed Guinness World Records for the record of fastest male marathoner to push a stroll after completing the half-marathon in 2 hours and 19 minutes.
After his father was diagnosed with leukemia, Chad now runs races carrying a sign reading “anything is possible.”
"I carry that and push for him. That same sign, I've carried through each of these events," Chad told CBN News.
Chad also noted that his father suffered a stroke on April 14, describing the matter as “very challenging.”
“Sitting there with my dad when he can't actually have a conversation. I just sat there with him for Father's Day… just to sit there in that moment and look him in the eyes, all day... the joy in his face,” he said.
"That connection right there when there's nothing he can provide in the typical body. That's what I hope my kids feel when I'm toward the end of my life. They feel good about the life that Amy and I provided,” Chad continued. “We can sit in the room with all the memories that we've made… feel the comfort with all those things. The only thing that matters is the connection and relationship we have especially with our family… nothing else matters."
Photo credit: Unsplash/Charles Eugene
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.