A funeral mass for Elizabeth Toy, 29, who died on Wednesday, is scheduled for Monday morning at 10 a.m. at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church in Greenport; Toy will be laid to rest at St. Agnes Cemetery immediately after.
Her mother, Ann Toy, said she remembers her daughter's joy for life. "There was something that Elizabeth said to me, on two different occasions, that was so characteristic of her."
"The first time, was when we were talking about life in general and I remarked about how amazing her spirit is. She said, 'I wish you could be as happy as I am,'" Toy said. "This just blew me away. I am a worrier, I have been this way all my life and despite all my attempts to improve, I still succumb to it. Elizabeth told me that the only time she acknowledged she had cancer was when she was at the cancer center or in the hospital. That was the key to her continuing to live life on her terms."
Throughout her daughter's battle — she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer that spreads through the lymph nodes, in 2010 — Toy said she believed Elizabeth would live to see her son, Matthew, 11, grow up.
"She was such an amazing fighter and I know she always told me she fought so hard to be there for Matt. I am devastated. I lost not only my beautiful daughter, I lost my very best friend, too. I can't imagine our lives without her."
She added, "She was a fantastic mom to Matt, and taught him so much in the short time she had. I will never take the place of his mom but I will do everything I can to make sure he has the kind of life Elizabeth wanted him to have."
The days since her daughter's death have been heavy with grief, especially when she had face a task no mother should ever have to endure.
"It was so incredibly hard to shop for an outfit for my beautiful Elizabeth to be buried in. We were last shopping together at the mall right before she went in for the bone marrow transplant. We had so much fun together that day."
For months, the North Fork community rallied for the young mother, so devoted to her son.
Donations are still being accepted in Elizabeth Toy's Suffolk County National Bank account, friends said, to help give Matthew a secure future.
A pig roast/motorcycle run fundraiser that had been planned will still go on, on October 5 at Four Doors Down in Mattituck, to raise funds for Matthew. The event will begin at 10 a.m., when participants can sign up for a motorcycle run for $20. Next will come the event, which will cost $15 and include a buffet, Chinese auction, a band, The Locals, and a 50/50.
"She was the most amazing person I've ever met," one friend said. "If you were having the worst day of your life, she'd come over and be silly and put a smile on your face."
For months, Elizabeth Toy, consumed with worry over finances and how she will be able to support her young son, turned to the internet for help.
In early September, caring friends posted on North Fork Patch's boards about the challenges Toy, 29, faced.
On her Go Fund Me page, where Toy posted an online plea for donations to help as she faced her life-threatening illness, Toy kept friends and loved ones updated.
On her page, she wrote, "I want to thank you all again, and remind you to not take people for granted. Appreciate them while they are here. Set aside differences, strive to lift people up, not hold them down. But most of all, love and be loved."
In April, Toy, a single mom, shared her story with Patch, and described facing the most terrifying specter a parent can imagine: The fear that she might not live to see her son grow up.Her son, she said, was her biggest support and champion. "I told him, 'We don't know what the outcome is going to be, but I'm going to give it my best shot. No matter what I have to go through, I'm doing it for you."
Toy's mother Ann wrote a message on Patch last week, filled with love for her daughter and grandson: "Matthew will never be alone. Matthew and Elizabeth have been my whole world. I not only lost a daughter but my best friend and the most amazing person I ever knew. I will love and care for Matthew as I always have until the day I die as I promised Elizabeth. It is my honor to do so."