Elizabeth Joice, a pregnant woman from New York City who decided to forgo cancer treatment after she learned that a tumor she had previously fought had returned, gave birth to the baby girl she desperately pined for only to then die a few weeks later.
The 36-year-old first learnt of her illness back in September 2010 when doctors revealed that they had found several dangerous growths in her lungs.
Liz had originally planned not to fight the disease, and she was instead going to “just cash it all in and go partying and call it a day.” However, her boyfriend, Max, had other ideas, and after he learned of her plan he ran into the kitchen, fashioned an engagement ring out of tin foil and proposed, insisting to her, “You don’t have the option not to fight.”
The pair then got married a month later, but after she was diagnosed with Sarcoma and endured four rounds of chemotherapy, a surgery and even more chemo to make sure that the tumor had gone, doctors warned her not to have a baby.
However, in June 2013, Liz discovered that she was actually pregnant, even though, as Max recalled, “They said there was no chance this was happening – and here it was happening.”
Just a month into her pregnancy though, Liz tragically learnt that the tumor had returned. But doctors were unable to see if it was growing because they couldn’t perform full-body MRI scans on her.
In January, a c-section was performed in order for Lily Anne Joice to arrive, even though she was only due to be born on March 4. This allowed hospital officials to examine Liz, however it soon became apparent that the cancer had spread rapidly throughout her body to her heart, right lung and abdomen.
Max admitted that the family prepared for the worst, and started to say their goodbyes. “It was like something out of a movie,” he stated. “We sat there and cried. We tried to tell stories, talk about all the great things.”
Liz only returned home for one night with Lily, and she finally succumbed to her disease on March 9.
40 Weeks, a documentary about the duo, directed by Christopher Henze, has been created and will be released in the near future to aid a fundraiser designed to generate income to help Max and Lily.
But even though she is still only a few months old, Max admits that he can see Liz when he looks at Lily, as he stated, “Liz’s magic rubbed off on Lily. She’s beautiful and remarkable. It provide me with the strength to get through this.”
[Image via YouTube]