When Liz Joice was told she had to choose between treating her cancer and having her baby, she chose motherhood.
And less than two months after giving birth to her daughter, Lily Joice, in January last year, Liz succumbed to the disease.
However, Liz's laugh, stories and words live on thanks to the making of a documentary called '40 Weeks' which she and her husband Max participated in throughout her pregnancy. They were already filming when Liz's cancer, which she had previously beaten, returned.
(Photo Credit: Facebook)
"They gave us a chance to back out when Liz was diagnosed with cancer, but we thought, no, because if it does turn out bad, we have this incredible documentation of what our life was like when we were getting ready to bring Lily into the world," Max said Today.
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"On a really selfish level, I just love that Lily is going to get to see her mom exactly how I did when she gets older."
Contained in the film are not only touching moments that come with every pregnancy, but also messages left behind for little Lily that she will be able to treasure for the rest of her life.
The film's director, Christopher Henze became good friends with the family during the filming. And as a gift to the little girl, he spliced her mother's image and voice in with children's cartoons, so mom can be a part of the fun and learning in Lily's life.
But even more heartbreaking is the on-camera moment where Christopher asks Liz just what she would like to tell her daughter if she doesn't have the chance to in the future.
“Regardless of whatever happens to me, going through this to bring you here is always going to be worth it, no question. I don’t want that to be hard on you,” she said.
Lily Joice today at one year old (Photo Credit: Facebook)
“I just want you to know how important you are . . . and try to be like me and not have anger. You know you can be sad at things and you can be disappointed in things, but you’ve got to let anger go. It’s just one of the least productive emotions a person can ever have. It ruins you and nobody else but you.
“Some people’s stories just don’t make any sense. That’s why I stopped trying to figure it out. You know, it is what it is, you just have to make the best out of it.”
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