Terminally ill woman, 29, chooses to die two days after husband’s birthday

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Data pix.
Courtesy: Brittany Maynard

Courtesy: Brittany Maynard

A terminally ill 29-year-old woman has chosen November 1 as the day she will die.

Shortly after her wedding in 2013, Brittany Maynard of Portland, Ore., began experiencing debilitating headaches.

While on vacation with her husband in January, Brittany was diagnosed with grade II Astrocytoma, a severe brain tumor. Doctors told her she had 10 years left to live.

"I have to tell you," she says in the video, "when you’re 29 years old, being told you have that kind of timeline still feels like being told you’re going to die tomorrow.”

Following the original diagnosis, doctors said her cancer had progressed to Glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest form of brain cancer. After treatment, the average life expectancy is only 14 months.

When doctors told Brittany her death would likely be slow and painful as the tumor continued to grow, she opted to choose her own ending.

Courtesy: Brittany Maynard

Courtesy: Brittany Maynard

On November 1, surrounded by her husband, mother and best friend, she will end her life using medication prescribed by her doctor.

Maynard's husband's birthday is October 30.

The medication will give her a "peaceful and painless" ending to her life. However, Brittany said this is not a suicide.

"There is not a cell in my body that is suicidal or that wants to die," Maynard told People.com. "I want to live. I wish there was a cure for my disease but there's not. … Being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying.”

Maynard's family moved with her to Oregon earlier this year so she would have access to Oregon's "Death with Dignity Act," which has allowed over 750 people to die using medication since 1997.

Life-rights advocacy organization Compassion & Choices and The Brittany Maynard Fund will provide Brittany a platform to share her story and bring attention to the end-of-life rights.

According to Compassion & Choices, Brittany will spend her last days fighting for others’ rights to end their lives.

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64 comments

  • sherry

    Just watched a guy on youtube about his survival of this tumor, he was given 3 months to live. He saw Dr David Baskin at Methodist Hospital Research Institute. .. I don’t know if she has contacted them, but any chance is worth a try….

  • Patrick Mahoney

    how does her family feel about this? if she hasnt explored ALL alternatives then she is basically just quitting life without knowing what and who it may have in store for her and her family.

  • Sherrie Gaulin

    Only God can make tat decision. I feel terrible for her and her family and hope she tries every avenue she can. There are miracles and we must give our Lord and Savior that opportunity to heal us. Sending my love and hope she gives Life every chance!!!

    • scottinva

      She has a terminal, fast-growing cancer in her brain. God has made his decision, and she is simply acting within the context of that decision. Fighting against God’s will would take the form of exhaustively seeking treatment that would at best extend her lifespan by a few days, but bring on excruciating agony for her and her family.

  • shona

    the tears poured down my face watching this my husband had cancer the same time as my dad and husbands beautiful aunt
    my husband had it in the vena cava he got operated and survived my father passed one month after that and our beautiful aunt passed the next month , we were lucky my husband survived my dad I have never got over losing him that’s ten years and our aunt asked me to tell her sister they looked like twins and she was breaking her heart telling me I know if I had a cancer like my dad osphigal aunt bowl cancer if I’m told that I have a certain time to live I would be selfish and take my life she is so brave I have had 28 years married 3 beautiful kids 5 grand children who I love and I’m now disabled my husband and mother inlaw look after me I love them so much may the angels take this beautiful young girl with peace xx

  • scottinva

    Those of you insisting she should eschew the life-ending option for Brittany, pray as I am for a miracle that she’ll be healed by 1 November. If God wants her healed, He’ll heal her. If she’s not miraculously healed, it’s quite clear that her recovery isn’t in God’s plan.

  • Daniel W

    I just read another article about this woman where today, October 28, she realized a bucket list dream to visit the Grand Canyon. She commented on its beauty and her love for nature. I am sure those who traveled there with her enjoyed her company as well. They were gaining and giving value from life. So today she is well enough to travel and enjoy the Grand Canyon. Yet in 4 more days, on November 1, she will opt to end her own life. Would she not, perhaps, on November 2nd or 3rd be well enough to enjoy other natural marvels or to give more joy to those who know and love her? Would ONE more day not give the chance to see Bryce Canyon or the Tetons? Is there not more joy to be gained or given, even if ill? How and when do we draw the line between what is so insufferable that we should be expected to push the eject button, and what is, although difficult and painful because of maladies, still worth living for? Maybe I’m missing a critical point, but I can’t imagine being robbed of the real courage and grace I saw from my uncle’s deathbed when he endured his final days of cancer, and I know he would feel robbed to have lost any portion of that time, regardless of how fearsome and uncomfortable. And some of our families greatest memories were born from when we had to sacrifice and endure while caring for my grandpa who lost his life to Alzheimer’s Disease. I mean no disrespect to this woman, who faces a frightening and painful illness. But her decision and rationale just goes against my definitions of courage and dignity. She is foregoing great suffering, to be sure. But she is also foregoing opportunities to live, love, and gain and give, if even for 5 minutes more…. one day more…. or beyond.

  • Mike

    If anyone knows how to get a hold of Brittany. Pass this on if she wants to leave something to continue her life, leave some of her eggs to be kept so her husband could have someone carry their child. Second message ” Brittany, rethink what you’re doing. you are turning away from God’s help. and taking your own life is not worth losing eternal life with God. I’m not a holly roller for sure. But I would hope I would have the strength to let God take me home. I recently lost my Mother and she was very old. In the senior home for Rehab. She was in a lot of pain the last few weeks of her passing. But she held on until it was time. And the home made her as comfortable as possible. But she did it on Gods terms not hers. She spent over 40 years of pain after she recovered from cancer. She went through so many painful surgery’s and each time kept going. I haven’t read how long they have actually given you, But let it take its course.

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