09/25/13 12:57pm
09/25/2013 12:57 PM

Elizabeth Toy, 29.

A Cutchogue woman who had been battling Stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma for three years has died, friends said.

Elizabeth Toy passed away Tuesday, Sept. 24 while receiving treatment at Stony Brook University Medical Center.

She was 29.

Ms. Toy was diagnosed in 2010 with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of  blood cancer that erodes the lymphatic system. As the disease progresses it compromises the body’s ability to fight infection, according to the Mayo Clinic.

During her treatment, Ms. Toy remained a dedicated mother to her 11-year-old son, Matthew, friends said.

“She fought so hard to be here for him,” longtime friend Tanya McDowell said.

In her memory, Ms. McDowell has teamed up with Mattituck restaurant Four Doors Down to hold a fundraiser for Matthew. The money will be deposited into a trust fund he can access to pay for college, Ms. McDowell said.

“This will be a nest egg for him,” she said. “He can use it to start his life.”

Matthew is now in the custody of Ms. Toy’s mother, Ms. McDowell said.

Ms. Toy has always been dedicated to her family, friends said.

In her final Facebook post, dated Sept. 1, she expressed excitement for a family visit to her hospital room.

“I have never been as surprised and happy as I was tonight,” Ms. Toy wrote. “I woke up from a sound sleep and opened my eyes to my sister and niece by my side that I haven’t seen in years! At first I couldn’t believe it was my sister; I was thinking who is this person who looks so much like her! Thank you God for this gift of seeing them!”

Friends say they will always remember Ms. Toy as smart, funny, strong and compassionate.

“She is one of the best friends I’ve ever had,” Ms. McDowell said. “We clicked from the moment we met. Our sons are best friends. She’s been a big part of our lives.”

The bike run and pig roast fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. at Four Doors Down located at 9870 Main Rd, Mattituck.

The event, which was scheduled before her death, features live music, food, a 50/50 raffle, and beer and drink specials.

Donations for the party are $15 at the door.

Anyone interested in participating in the motorcycle run may sign up at the restaurant at 10 a.m. the day of the even with a $20 donation.

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05/10/13 12:05pm
05/10/2013 12:05 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | Single mother Liz Toy of Cutchogue is one of the local honorees for the first Our Moms 5K event Saturday.

Mother’s Day is made for women like 29-year-old Cutchogue resident Elizabeth Toy. The committed single mother works long hours while balancing soccer practice to give her 11-year-old son, Matthew, every opportunity she can, while she can.

Ms. Toy is in the midst of the battle for her life. Suffering from Stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Ms. Toy says Mother’s Day has taken on a new meaning.

“This is a special time of year for mothers,” she said. “Everything I do is for my son. He knows what can happen if things go wrong. I will go to the end of the Earth to make sure my family has a future.”

Ms. Toy’s was diagnosed at 26 with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type blood cancer that erodes the lymphatic system. As the disease progresses it compromises the body’s ability to fight infection, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The first Our Moms 5K race to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will be held in Cutchogue Saturday to honor mothers like Ms. Toy and their families affected by blood cancer.

This year’s event highlights the stories of three local moms who’ve had their lives impacted by blood cancer, including Ms. Toy.

Karen Haas of Cutchogue, whose son is recovering from a blood cancer, and Susan Becker of Mattituck, who is currently hospitalized awaiting a live-saving procedure, are also being honored.

“We need these women to inspire,” event organizer Danielle Fogarty said. “They are our neighbors and they are the face of cancer.”

Ms. Fogarty’s efforts have inspired the creation of numerous local charity events to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but this is the first road race she’s spearheaded. More than 100 people had pre-registered a few days before the race, she said.  Ms. Fogarty said she hopes the race will become an annual event.

The 5K walk/run starts at 8:45 a.m. at the Cutchogue Fire Department. The pre-registration fee is $25. The fee is $30 on the day of the race. For the kids, a children’s 400-meter dash will begin at 8:30 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to the top two male and female winners.

All proceeds benefit the Long Island Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

During her three-year battle, Ms. Toy has endured aggressive chemotherapy, experimental stem cell treatment and a failed bone marrow transplant. In the interim, Ms. Toy lives day-to-day, awaiting a second bone marrow transplant.

While juggling motherhood she fears for the future of her family’s finances.

“I am in need of more than just prayers,” she said. “I need help to get through this transplant and still have a clean, safe apartment to come home to for myself and my 11-year-old son.”

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