On March 9th, 2014, a true and beautiful soul was taken from this world. Elizabeth Joice was the personification of strength and grace; her selflessness so complete, it created new life through the sacrifice of her own.
Liz had previously endured a severe battle with an aggressive and rare form of cancer. A tenacious fighter, she had perseveredand was ultimately declared cancer-free. Liz and Max were eager to put the ordeal of the disease behind them and happilymove on with their lives as a family. The doctors had said that the odds of conceiving a child were extremely slim – but having already overcome so much, they refused to be dissuaded. And last summer, to the delight and amazement of all, they were pregnant.
Unfortunately, the blissful anticipation of the pending arrival of their new baby was blind-sided by devastating news. Liz’s cancer was back again, and with it a choice that no one should ever have to make: terminate the pregnancy and begin cancer treatment, or continue the pregnancy knowing that the cancer would go unchecked and put Liz’s life in danger. But Liz wanted to give. Give a child to her husband. Give the gift of life itself. And give she did.
By late January, the situation became very dire. The cancer was spreading rapidly, and Liz’s doctors advised that treatment could not wait any longer. Although the baby was not due until March, it was healthy and ready enough – and for Liz to have a chance, it had to be now.
At 2:42 pm on January 23rd, 2014, Liz gave birth to Lily Anne Joice. She may have come a little early, but was clearly ready for the world upon arrival. While all the other babies in the NICU squirmed and cried, with nurses anxiously tending and worried parents fretting, beautiful Lily lay peacefully… cooingat her proud parents every time they held her. It was as if she knew that her parents needed her joyful support, and this was simply not the time to be fussy. She is her mother’s daughter,after all.
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. For the next six weeks, she fought. With so much to live for, she foughtharder 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.
But the struggle could only last for so long. Liz had given it all she had, but could not fight anymore. On the morning of March 9th , with her loving husband by her side, Liz passed away. She leaves behind a world that was so lucky to have known her. Her memory will live on forever, firmly implanted in the hearts and souls of all who loved her. Max and Lily will honor her every day of their lives.
The outpouring of support since Liz passed away has been incredible, and humbling. We have become overwhelmed by the hundreds of requests for donation information, and have created this resource to give everyone a place to give privately and securely. All donations will be used to provide for Lily Anne Joice. We thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity.
Most importantly, we hope that you will continue to honor the memory of Elizabeth with each passing day. May you rest in peace, Liz. Your daughter will be so proud to learn all about her mom one day.
In Loving Memory of Elizabeth Joice: March 14th, 1977 - March 9th, 2014.