Young Newlywed Planning to Die Around Her Husband's Birthday (VIDEO)

Whenever I'm tempted to feel sorry for myself because something goes wrong at work, or at home, or someone says something stupid to me, or whatever -- I think about those who truly have problems. Someone like 29-year-old Brittany Maynard. A healthy, active woman who had traveled to far-flung places and was trying for a family with her husband, Brittany was suddenly diagnosed with an inoperable and terminal brain tumor. But Brittany has always been a brave woman, and she wasn't going to stop now. She decided to die on her terms.


In April, Brittany -- young, vibrant, a newlywed, and in the prime of her life -- was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Doctors told her there was nothing that could be done, and they gave her about six months to live. Absolutely horrible and tragic.

Hearing that it would be a "terrible, terrible" way to die, Brittany decided to take some control back. After surgery that failed to vanquish the tumor, and researching all of her options, Brittany decided she would die -- but as she chose, not as the tumor chose.

Brittany and her family picked up and moved from their home state of California to Oregon to take advantage of that state's Death With Dignity Act, which allows doctors to give a prescription to end a terminally ill patient's life with a pill.

Since the law went into effect in 1997, 752 people have used the law to die on their terms. No doctor is obliged to write the prescription -- nor does the patient have to take the pill.

Brittany, who has begun having increasing pain, seizures, and an inability to speak, has decided the time is near. But she had to pick a date to die, so she chose two days after her husband's birthday, October 30. Brittany told People magazine:

I'm getting sicker, dealing with more pain and seizures and difficulties so I just selected it.

When she dies on November 1, she will be in the bedroom she chose with her husband, Dan, surrounded by him, and family, and her best friend, who is also a doctor.

Brittany is now speaking out on behalf of Compassion Choices, a group that campaigns to make death with dignity laws an option in all states. She says:

Right now it's a choice that's only available to some Americans, which is really unethical.

The option of picking up and moving is not available to everyone. Some people wouldn't be able to afford it; others would not want to leave doctors, family, or take kids out of their schools.

This is a choice that should be legally available to all. Brittany does NOT consider what she is doing to be "suicide" -- because she WANTS to live. But given no choice in the matter, she can at least die with less suffering.

Brittany is spending her remaining months with the people she loves and traveling. She still wants to see the Grand Canyon before she passes away. How much better to spend her last days loving and traveling than hooked up to monitors in a hospital room. "I hope to enjoy however many days I have left on this beautiful Earth," she says.

More from The Stir: Sick, Suffering Children Can Now Legally Choose Euthanasia

Our thoughts are with Brittany and her family at this unbelievably difficult time. What a brave woman she is, and how wonderful that she is working to give others the same death with dignity she will now be able to have.

Do you believe in what Brittany's doing?

Image via The Brittany Maynard Fund

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