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, the woman who has chosen Nov. 1 as the day she will die, recently spoke to People magazine 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.

Courtesy: Brittany Maynard

Courtesy: Brittany Maynard

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."

Maynard 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.

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11 comments

  • tammy

    I am going to be praying for you and hope there is a miracle. I sure hope and pray that you wake up some morning and your cancer gone. The doctors can say it’s a miracle.

  • Bethany

    My prayers are with you for comfort and understanding during this delicate time. As humanity shows compassion for you over your decision, please know that I am concerned for your life after this earth. I pray that you find true peace and understanding your purpose on this earth and security here after. My hope is in God Almighty and His Son Jesus; my purpose is to tell of His love for you and I. His love is so great for humanity, that He did die that awful death that you are fearing so you could have life eternally in heaven. I pray that you have heard of His love and accept it as a gift! I can not imagine how you feel And what you are experiencing, but someone that I loved very much told me as they were dying that, He felt his suffering and pain was not about him as much as it was for the ones that he loved the most. I don’t know if that makes any sense to you, but lives were and are changed forever due to his suffering and the care that others had the chance to do for him. The answer and purpose was love! I hope and pray that you feel the love you experience is so strong that your pain is minimized! God bless you dear lady and prayers will be continue for you and your loved ones!

  • Renae

    I don’t know if you will ever see this but I hope and pray you do. Doctors aren’t always 100%. They are people like us and yes although they have researched and studied this illness they’re job is to prescribe medicine. Many times doctors cover up symptoms but never give you cures. I urge you to look seriously into the use of CBD oils before choosing to end your life! You would have to travel to California for treatment but many people have lived because of it when they were told by doctors they would die!! CBD oil is a very aggressive cancer killer, better than chemo in some cases! Between CBD oils and a change in diet you may just find that miracle! I’m praying for you… You are too beautiful not to fight!!

  • Dawn

    May God bless you and your family during these final days with much love, faith and peace. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Lady T

    I only can imagine what you and your family are going through my mom just bet cancer, I know it’s your decision to end it but if you are a believer in Christ then I don’t think you should do it because it’s a sin to take your own life and only God has that power. I will pray for you and your family that you know that this doesn’t have to be the end but maybe a new beginning for someone don’t just give up on your life and dreams don’t let this illness defeat you.

  • Forrest

    Two years ago my father was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforma and yes it is a horrible horrible disease. He knew he had a major fight on his hands and never gave up. Unfortunately my father did pass away. HOWEVER, it was NOT from the cancer and that has been confirmed by his doctors, it was from blood clots that formed due to a very rare side effect from the chemo around his heart and in his lungs that took his life. It was also confirmed right up to the very end that he was BEATING the cancer and that the tumor had not grown a single milimeter. I really hope you read and understand that there is a chance of survival. U of Michigan and the Mayo Clinic both confirmed this. Please please please, look into more options and medical procedures. No it was not fun dealing with what he had to go thru, however the positive attitude that he was going to win is what kept him going. I know you dont wanna suffer and neither my dad. Two days before he passed away he had enough energy and spirit that he was out in the woods deer hunting and having a great time. The very first thing the doctors told us at the very beginning when we talked to them was DO NOT READ THE INTERNET for info on time frames because it is wrong. They automatically assume once you have it its over and that was NOT the case. All I ask is to please check different options. Make calls and open doors to get to these people. Im telling ya, there is a chance. To my family and myself, he beat it. The doctors confirmed it. May God Bless you with any decision you make. Always remember if there is a will there is a way. Once you have that will to look and search, you will see that this too can be beat. Ive seen it with my own eyes. God Bless!!

  • Zegota

    May God Bless you and your loving family, your strength is of the Holy Spirit within you. I pray that your family will find the Peace and Comfort that you so wish I understand that these are only words. But they are from my Spirit to yours, and from my own heart to yours, thank you for sharing and God Bless.

  • Terry Long

    In Dec 2008 my wife was told she had Glioblastoma Multiforma (stage 4) on a Wednesday. She was admitted to Butterworth on Friday. They operated on Monday morning. On Wednesday at noon (one week from finding out) she was walking in our home. She has been “clean” almost 6 years. At least give them a chance to do something