Woman chooses motherhood over her own life in battle with cancer
A New York City woman risked and ultimately sacrificed her life to become a mother.
According to the New York Post, Elizabeth Joice received her cancer diagnosis in 2010 and her then-boyfriend, Max Joice, proposed the same day. Together they fought through treatment, and she was eventually declared cancer-free.
Even though doctors told her pregnancy was impossible, Liz Joice wanted a baby. When news that she was pregnant came, the couple was thrilled and amazed, but a terrible choice followed. The cancer had returned, and Joice had to choose between ending the pregnancy for her health or continuing the pregnancy and leaving the cancer unchecked. Joice decided to risk her life for the sake of her baby.
“Having a kid was one of the most important things in the world to her,” Max Joice told The Post. “She said, ‘If we terminate the pregnancy and it turns out I can’t have a baby [later], I’ll be devastated.’ She knew this might be her only chance.”
In January, the cancer was "spreading rapidly," and the baby was healthy enough for the doctors to deliver, according to the family's YouCaring website. Delivering early could give Liz Joice a chance to tackle her unchecked cancer.
Lily Anne Joice was born on Jan. 23 and the family then had to juggle the joy of their new child with the fear of Joice's declining health. She spent one night at home, five days after giving birth, but had to keep fighting.
"With Lily now delivered and healthy, Liz and Max — and their friends and families — did their best to live a surreal duality: enjoy and celebrate Lily’s arrival into the world, while confronting the reality that Liz was now incredibly sick," the YouCaring site reports. "For the next six weeks, she fought. With so much to live for, she fought harder than her doctors had ever seen someone fight ... overcoming the odds to spend just one more day with Lily and Max. And another. Then another."
Joice fought for six weeks and died March 9. The family organized the YouCaring page to gather donations to help Max Joice support Lily. Director Christopher Henze is creating a documentary, called "40 Weeks," about the Joices.
Despite her death, Liz Joice's life and story will continue to give just as she did while she was alive.
"... Liz wanted to give," the YouCaring page says. "Give a child to her husband. Give the gift of life itself. And give she did."
Alison Moore is a writer for the Faith and Family sections at DeseretNews.com. She is studying journalism and editing at Brigham Young University.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @alison_kathleen
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