Every day moms make the decision to put their children's needs above their own, whether it's skipping the gym to attend a recital or giving up a good night's sleep to help them cope with nightmares. But such sacrifices don't compare to one that Elizabeth Joice made earlier this year. A month after learning she was pregnant, doctors told the first-time mom the cancer that prevented her from becoming pregnant for so long had returned. Surgeons removed some of the tumors, but in order to find out where the cancer spread they needed to perform an MRI, which could harm her future child.
Elizabeth was faced with a choice: terminate the pregnancy to save her life or live with the cancer to save her child. The choice, to her, was obvious.
"We felt that if we terminated this pregnancy and did these scans, if it turned out that there was no evidence of this disease after the scans, then we would have possibly given up our only chance at having a child naturally and would have done it for nothing," Max, Elixabeth's husband, tells CNN. The couple continued with the pregnancy, hoping everything would work out.
During her third trimester, it became clear that the cancer was growing and that the doctors had to act fast to save the mom-to-be. Elizabeth underwent an emergency C-section six weeks before her due date and gave birth to daughter Lily Anne on Jan. 23. After the delivery, however, Elizabeth and Max were given heartbreaking news. The cancer had spread to Liz's heart, abdomen, and pelvis. Doctors started treatment immediately, but the cancer advanced quickly and Elizabeth passed away on March 9.
Despite the tragic loss, Max is proud of his wife's decision to put her life at risk to give them what they always wanted — a family.
"She was so optimistic and so strong and so willing to go through whatever fight she would have to go through in order to have this baby," Max says. "Through her spirit and grace, she is still affecting people."
Source: ABC News