The Heartbreaking Story Of A Mom Who Turned Down Cancer Treatment To Have Her Baby

04/01/2014 02:14 pm ET | Updated Apr 03, 2014
  • Ron Dicker General Assignment Reporter, The Huffington Post

On March 20, Maxwell Joice posted a video montage of his wife, Elizabeth, and their newborn daughter, Lily. The description says simply, "Not enough time."

Elizabeth Joice died March 9, and now many know of her love and sacrifice. According to the family's YouCaring page, Joice turned down treatment to stem the growth of a recurring lethal cancer so the baby she was carrying could live.

Joice's getting pregnant was deemed nearly impossible after several rounds of chemotherapy and surgery to destroy a tumor three years earlier. But joy for the New York City couple turned to heartbreak last summer when doctors discovered the cancer had returned. They told Joice she'd have to end the pregnancy to get the treatment she needed or continue the pregnancy and risk the cancer going unchecked.

“Having a kid was one of the most important things in the world to her,” her husband told the New York 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.”

As the disease spread, Joice's health deteriorated; she gave birth early via cesarean section on Jan. 23, the YouCaring page notes. The mother fought to stay alive several weeks before passing away five days short of her 37th birthday.

“Liz’s magic rubbed off on Lily,” her husband told the Post. “She’s beautiful and remarkable. It provides me with the strength to get through this.”

Many commenters on CafeMom's The Stir lauded the mother for her courage and said they would make the same choice. The description on the YouCaring page ends with a touching message: "May you rest in peace, Liz. Your daughter will be so proud to learn all about her mom one day."

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