Mother’s Day honors all moms but this mom is a true angel and inspiration for all of us. We know that being a mom is such a selfless and wonderful gift but this mom takes selflessness to the ultimate level. The spirit of this wonderful woman (SEE VIDEO BELOW) will live on in her beautiful daughter and in the recorded messages she left to her.
A New York City mom made the ultimate sacrifice — giving up her own life so her baby girl could live.
Doctors told cancer patient Elizabeth Joice that she would never get pregnant, so when she did, it was something of a miracle.
But joy quickly turned to heartbreak for Elizabeth and her husband, Max, when doctors presented her with an impossible challenge: terminate the pregnancy and begin treatment — or put her life in danger.
It didn’t take Elizabeth long to reach her decision.
“Having a kid was one of the most important things in the world to her,” Max 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.”
Elizabeth and Max were together for two years in September 2010, when an MRI showed that what doctors thought was a herniated disc was actually a tumor.
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“The day the doctors called us with the results is also the day I proposed to her,” Max said. “She said, ‘If it’s terminal, I’m not even going to fight. Let’s travel the world until I keel over.’ ”
Max made a beeline for the kitchen and returned with an engagement ring made of tin foil.
“I said, ‘You don’t have the option not to fight’ and proposed to her then,” Max said. “We got married a month later.”
Elizabeth, 36, described as fiercely independent and optimistic, endured four rounds of chemotherapy, a surgery and even more chemo to make sure the tumor was eradicated.
She was declared cancer-free for three years but still longed to have a baby, even though doctors told her it was impossible.
Undeterred, the couple moved from the Upper East Side to Roosevelt Island in June 2013 to prepare to raise a family. Within a few days, Liz discovered she was pregnant. “I totally blew a gasket,” Max said. “They said there was no chance this was happening — and here it was happening.”
But only a month later, they received the devastating news: The tumor was back.
Doctors removed the mass, but because she was pregnant, Elizabeth couldn’t undergo full-body MRI scans and her oncologist couldn’t see whether the cancer was growing.
The baby was due March 4, but the doctors could no longer wait. In January, a surgeon performed a C-section and beautiful baby Lily was born.
Elizabeth’s health quickly declined as her cancer spread. Tumors invaded her right lung, heart and abdomen “We said our goodbyes,” Max said. “It was like something out of a movie. We sat there and cried. We tried to tell stories, talk about all the great things.”
“Liz came home five days after Lily was born,” Max said. “That one night at home was all we had.”
Elizabeth died on March 9 in her hospital bed with Max by her side.
“Liz had this way about her,” Max said. “She had this positive energy that made you want to be the best version of yourself. She was intolerant of self-pity.”
Liz grew up in Montclair, NJ, and was forced to raise herself after her mother died and her dad disappeared. She worked for real estate firm Tishman Speyer for a decade and was active with cancer charities.
Friends, including the city’s pre-eminent writers and journalists from the now-shuttered Lion’s Head bar — once owned by Max’s family — are raising $50,000 to support the family.
Meanwhile, director Christopher Henze is wrapping up “40 Weeks,” a documentary that follows the Joices on their journey to have a child.
“Liz’s magic rubbed off on Lily,” Max said. “She’s beautiful and remarkable. It provides me with the strength to get through this.”