Editor's note: Maynard died on Nov. 1, taking a lethal medication prescribed by a doctor. The day before, she had announced that she was feeling well enough to postpone her death.
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On Nov. 1, two days after her husband's birthday, Brittany Maynard will end her own life.
Why would such a young woman with seemingly so much to live for take such a drastic measure? On Jan. 1 of this year, Maynard was diagnosed with brain cancer. She was given a maximum of 10 years to live, which was painful enough for anyone to hear, never mind a woman who had not yet turned 30. But after surgery, Maynard's doctors came back with an even more dire diagnosis — glioblastoma, the deadliest form of brain cancer. Now instead of years, Maynard was given months to live.
"There is not a cell in my body that is suicidal or that wants to die," Maynard recently told People magazine. "I want to live. I wish there was a cure for my disease, but there's not."
To make matters worse, Maynard's doctors explained that death from glioblastoma is a particularly painful way to die. Left without any other option, Maynard and her family moved from California to Oregon — one of only five states in the U.S. with right-to-die laws that allow terminally ill patients the opportunity to end their own lives. Maynard has had the medication for weeks. And on Nov. 1, surrounded by her husband, mother, step-father, and best friend (who also happens to be a physician,) Maynard will use it to end her life — on her terms.
According to news reports, Maynard lived her 29 years on this Earth fearlessly. She ran in half-marathons, traveled the world, and climbed tall mountains. And now she is using that same bold fervor to make the most of her remaining weeks on Earth. She has become a fierce advocate for increased end-of-life options nationwide so that all Americans who are terminally ill and mentally competent can decide when and how they will die. She even launched the Brittany Maynard Fund in partnership with Compassion & Choices to expand death-with-dignity laws in other states.
She explains more in this thought-provoking and heart-wrenching video:
Now there's a video that puts everything into perspective.
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