Terminally ill 29-year-old talks about giving up on dreams as ‘time draws closer’

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Brittany Maynard and bridesmaids at her wedding 9-29-14 (Courtesy: Brittany Maynard)

Brittany Maynard and bridesmaids at her wedding 9-29-14 (Courtesy: Brittany Maynard)

Brittany Maynard, the woman who has chosen Nov. 1 as the day she will die, recently spoke to People and wrote a blog post expressing appreciation for the support she has received over the past few weeks.

After her wedding in 2013, the 29-year-old began experiencing debilitating headaches.

While vacationing with her husband in January, Brittany was diagnosed with grade II Astrocytoma, a severe brain tumor.

After the diagnosis, doctors said her cancer had progressed to Glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest form of brain cancer. 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.

On November 1 -- only two days after her husband's birthday -- surrounded by her husband, mother and best friend, Brittany will end her life using medication prescribed by her doctor.

She recently told People she will pull apart 100 capsules of the sedative secobarbital, dissolve them in water, and drink it.

"I don't want to die but I am dying," Maynard tells PEOPLE in a new interview. "My [cancer] is going to kill me, and it's a terrible, terrible way to die. So to be able to die with my family with me, to have control over my own mind, which I would stand to lose – to go with dignity is less terrifying."


Courtesy: Brittany MaynardMaynard will not speak again publicly as she "heads into her final weeks," her representative said on Monday. She also posted an update on her blog earlier this month:

"The response from you all has surpassed our wildest expectations. On behalf of my family, thank you for the outpouring of love and support.

This journey has been challenging, to say the least. We've uprooted our lives. I take prescription drugs to reduce the swelling in my brain, that have caused my entire body to swell instead. Dan and I have given up our dreams of having a family. My mother is soon to lose her only child. We can all agree that no parent should bury their child.

I didn't launch this campaign because I wanted attention; in fact, it's hard for me to process it all. I did this because I want to see a world where everyone has access to death with dignity, as I have had. My journey is easier because of this choice.

I am so lucky to have known the love of an amazing husband (my husband Dan is a hero), a loving, caring mother, and an incredible group of friends and extended family. As my time draws closer, I hope you will all take up my request to carry on this work, and support them as they carry on my legacy. I'm so grateful to you all."

Maynard's story has drawn criticism and sparked a debate.

The legal and ethical battle over assisted suicide continue to be a hot button issue in the country.  A cancer patient wrote an open letter to Maynard on a website asking her not to kill herself.  Kara Tippetts wrote, "In your choosing your own death, you are robbing those that love you with the such tenderness, the opportunity of meeting you in your last moments and extending you love in your last breaths."

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  • cynthia

    The love of our Lord will take you into his arms and hold you so close to his heart. Our Lord who art in heaven. Bless your child to the fullest. Amen.

  • Robin

    What Cynthia has said is just beautiful. I commend your choice in how to handle your life….may I say I am so sorry for all of you that you have to suffer through this….may u be protected and loved always.i

  • Maddie

    To Kara Tippetts who wrote the open letter: How completely selfish you are. So what you’re saying is, stay alive to make everyone else happy. Forget the fact that it means you’ll die in excruciating pain and in a God awful way. Ignore that fact that you’ll suffer greatly staying alive for everyone else. Some people need to mind their own business. Just because it’s the right decision for them doesn’t mean it’s the right decision for everyone! Leave her and her family alone. I can’t imagine how Brittany feels to come to this decision but it’s her choice and I have so much respect for her and her family!

  • Gary Wojton

    I think you are an amazing and caring soul. You will leave this earth with the love and warmth of family and your husband right there with you. I respect your decision so much and can only say you will be in a lot of prayers from around the country.

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