A New York woman died last month after making the ultimate sacrifice for her unborn baby girl — delaying cancer treatment and forging on with her pregnancy.
Elizabeth Joice was first diagnosed with a malignant tumor in 2010, though she was declared cancer-free after undergoing surgery and four rounds of chemotherapy.
After clearing that barrier, she and her husband, Max, wanted to start a family, but doctors told her it would be virtually impossible to conceive.
But Joice was a fighter.
Defying the odds yet again, she and her husband announced that they were pregnant in the summer of 2013, offering up unexpected joy to their friends and family.
And that’s when Joice found out just one month later that her cancer had returned.
She and Max were faced with a horrific choice: Abort the child and begin treatment immediately, start treatment and continue the pregnancy — or delay much-needed medical care in an effort to protect the unborn baby girl.
Joice ultimately decided to delay treatment.
“Having a kid was one of the most important things in the world to her,” Max 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.”
While doctors did remove the mass, they weren’t able to discern whether the cancer had grown, as Joice couldn’t undergo a full-body MRI, the Post reported.
Though she was due in March, doctors delivered baby Lily in January via cesarian section so that Joice could begin treatment as soon as possible. But it was too late. The cancer spread and Joice’s health declined.
See montage of the family’s pictures below:
“We said our goodbyes. It was like something out of a movie,” Max said. “We sat there and cried. We tried to tell stories, talk about all the great things.”
Joice died March 9, with her husband by her side.
Featured image via Max Joice/YouTube