On March 9, 2014 the world lost a brilliant graceful angel who captivated everyone who came to know her. She did not let her diagnosis of sarcoma bring others pity but hope. Regardless of how she was feeling, Elizabeth Ruotolo Joice woke up every day facing the world with a smile, never with tears but always with joy no matter how worried, nauseous, hot flashy or weak she felt. She made everyone who knew her a better person, and even those who didn’t with the stories of her happiness. With her encouraging words and inner and outer beauty she shared smiles with other patients, guided struggling relationships to mend, and inspired anyone who crossed her path to appreciate each moment. She called her cancer a gift as it put her world into perspective.
She adored her family and was a faithful rock to her sisters and father. Her mother passed away when she was 11 but she never spoke of her upbringing with sadness, more with facts that led you to know what a fighter she was born to be.
She seemed to be a miracle patient, responding better than anyone she knew to chemo and for a period, being a survivor, moving on with her life, dedicating herself to work and marrying her lover. Another miracle occurred when she became pregnant against the predictions of her cancer doctors; she had been told the menopause due to chemo disabled her fertility. She considered adoption then magically became pregnant. The recurrence during pregnancy led to the end of her life, the end of a person so wonderful her dear friends and family will never be the same.
But we who love her know her spirit is here. It is here to encourage each of us to live better, treat people kinder, and to fight for a cure for cancer. She never sought pity, rather inspired strength. She supported any cancer cause she could, and worked hard to establish herself and her family secure financially, living within her means with extra to give to any charity. She treasured those who were good to her, wrote thank you notes regularly, baked phenomenal treats made with love to reward those she adored and often just because she felt like feeding people with her love. She had a brilliant wit and there was nothing better than laughing with her. Even at the end of her life she commented: “I’m going to start a Zagat’s for ice chips… which hospitals and floors have the best” and “This morphine pump is their answer to everything: feeling pain, press the button. Tired, press; itchy, press…..”
To learn more about her I refer you to her blog: and I quote from that below. http://efyoucancer.blogspot.com/2010/11/deep-thoughtswith-elizabeth-ruotolo.html
And finally to see her beauty and visualize her spirit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER0dHAQf_ic
She wanted a foundation for sarcoma in her name. Her loved ones agree that Sarcoma Foundation of America is doing it best. Join us for a cure. Her spirit lives on these pages, in her video, in her blog, in the heavens and here on earth forever. We will love you forever, Elizabeth and can’t wait to see the amazing woman that your daughter Lily will grow into. Thank you for enlightening us on the true meaning of living well.
“Smile in the face of cancer because it doesn’t scare me
Smile while I get chemo because it is saving my life
Smile when I tell my story in hopes of changing the way people see cancer…
Together we can maybe change the way people see this disease because
Smiling More Illuminates Lives Everyday.” – Elizabeth Ruotolo Joice
Information on sarcoma subtypes, treatments, clinical trials, and other important resources for sarcoma patients and families.
Information on the Sarcoma Patient Registry. If you are diagnosed with sarcoma, please consider joining the Registry.
Information on applying for a sarcoma research grant, current research funded by the SFA, and past research grants.