At age 29, Brittany Maynard was diagnosed with aggressive terminal brain cancer and given only six months to live. She has since moved to Oregon, which has a death-with-dignity law, and is advocating for more assisted-death legislation in the US.
After suffering from debilitating headaches, Maynard, called a vivacious, adventurous individual from birth by her mother, was diagnosed on Jan. 1 with a malignant brain tumor. At the time, she was given five to 10 years to live.
“I have to tell you,” she says in a video posted online, “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.”
But 70 days after surgery, she went in for a post-op appointment and was told the cancer was more aggressive.
She went from having years to live, to six months.
“The thoughts that go through your mind when you have so little time is everything you need to say to everyone you love,” Maynard said.
Maynard and her family searched for a miracle, but they didn’t find it.
Maynard said she decided to move from California to Oregon — a state with a death-with-dignity law. There, she was given a prescription to end her life, if she chooses to.
“I don’t wake up everyday and look at it,” Maynard said. “It’s in a safe spot. I know that it’s there when I need it. I plan to be surrounded by my immediate family.”
“I don’t have to die the way that it’s been described to me in the way my brain tumor would take me on its own,” Maynard said.
Maynard says she’s traveling and spending time with friends and family in the time she has left
“I hope to enjoy how ever many days I have left on this beautiful earth,” Maynard said. “I hope to pass in peace.”
Maynard has made a video about her plans in hopes it will help expand the death with dignity law. Currently, only five states allow it.