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Brittany Maynard, 29, Has Died

Updated on November 3, 2014

I have been following the Brittany Maynard story for the past month. This story has been very personal to me for many reasons. First, she and I were the same age, and I suffer from a traumatic brain injury, and I have seizures, mine from an explosion in Iraq. Maynard, 29, suffered from stage IV glioblastoma multiform, an aggressive form of brain cancer. She was originally given 10-years to live this past January, but was then told in April she had 6-months to live.

Maynard compiled a bucket-list, and this past week she fulfilled her last task, the Grand Canyon. Maynard originally decided that she would end her life on November 1st. Maynard, who was originally from California, fought for die with dignity laws in her state, and in a federal level, but decided to move to Oregon, one of the five states to have physician assisted suicide laws.

Originally, Maynard decided to end her life yesterday, but she released this statement:

“I still feel good enough and I still have enough joy and I still laugh and smile with my family and friends enough that it doesn’t seem like the right time right now,” she earlier this week. “But it will come, because I feel myself getting sicker. It’s happening each week.”

However, Maynard just posted this message to her Facebook account:

“Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more. The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers. I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type. … Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!”

She was surrounded by her mother, step-father, best-friend, and her beloved husband. She was 29. She said her greatest regret was that she had no children. The medication she took, Secobarital, caused her to fall in a deep sleep before she passed. Her death was painless.

After her death, her foundation, Choices and Compassion, released the following statement:

"As symptoms grew more severe she chose to abbreviate the dying process by taking the aid-in-dying medication she had received months ago. This choice is authorized under the Oregon Death With Dignity Act. She died as she intended – peacefully in her bedroom, in the arms of her loved ones."

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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      3 years ago

      Thank you for sharing how this beautiful lady died. I am saddened by her decision to pass away. I can only imagine the difficulty in making the choice to end life in such a fashion.

    • Sulabha profile image

      Sulabha Dhavalikar 

      3 years ago from Indore, India

      Brittany Maynard's death is a sad news. I have already commented on it twice.

      But I wish to state something that I had not said earlier. Brain Cancer is related to brain. Which is why, my mother and one more friend of ours who died due to Brain Cancer were in coma when they passed away.

      This cancer is the worst of all cancers as the patient is unable to comprehend what you are saying after sometime. The patient is also not able to take decisions.

      I hate to say all this. It just hurts. Moreover 29 is no age to die.

      I just want her to rest in peace.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 

      3 years ago from Hawaii

      I am sad for her death. May she rest in peace.

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you, Billy Buc.

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Lionrhod, I am so sorry about your sister. Thank you for your comment.

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Sulabha, thanks for the comment. RIP Brittany.

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Fpher, thank you for your comment. I agree with you, it so sad. RIP Brittany.

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Tara, I did too. It's so sad, she loved life so much, and she lived such a full life in such a short time.

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Me. Palumbo, I could only imagine the news up there. I would hope I would have her courage.

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Randall, thank you for your comment, I agree with you.

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Dreamer Meg, I too am glad she died peaceful, and knowing who she and her family still was. In her last days, she forgot her husbands name.

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you, Ms. Dora

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Say yes, that is very sweet and sad story.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 

      3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      This reminds me of my best friend in high school. She was raised by an extremely strict maiden aunt. She married at age 23, because her aunt kicked her out of the house for coming home at 10pm on a Saturday night date. The marriage lasted barely a year, because she had no positive role models.

      She collapsed from a brain tumor. The doctors operated, her aunt put her on very strict vegan diet, and she made a miraculous recovery. Unfortunately, the cancer returned and claimed her 4 years later. She passed away from brain cancer in August of 1991; she was 31 years old.

      I'm all for dying with dignity. I want to be remembered in a positive light, not all sick and crippled. Brittney Maynard looks beautiful, and it's great her loved ones can remember her that way.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Great story about a reality some are forced to face--to die with dignity or to not die but . . . . Thanks for sharing.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 

      3 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Such a shame for one so young but glad her passing was peaceful and as she chose.

    • Randall Guinn profile image

      Randall Guinn 

      3 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      I do not really consider this to be suicide, as she was already dying. It isn't like she wanted to die, she had terminal cancer. The one thing that Oregon offered her, was a choice for a peaceful passing, or a slow drawn out and painful death. It's sad that someone so young and full of life got cancer.

    • Edward J. Palumbo profile image

      Ed Palumbo 

      3 years ago from Tualatin, OR

      I live in Oregon, and this young lady's plight and decision understandably made the news. I am saddened that any promising young life should come to an end, and wish no one would be faced with this situation. My prayers are for her family and friends; I candidly don't know how I'd react to the same diagnosis or situation.

    • TaraLRichardson profile image

      Tara Richardson 

      3 years ago from New Mexico

      I feel so bad for Brittany and her family. I had hoped that her health had stabilized so she could enjoy more family time before her decision to end her life. I have had a few friend with brain tumors and I know how horrible their life was before his passing.

      I had also hopped the doctors were wrong about how much time she had. Praying for her family.

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Persp, you are comparing apples to oranges. If people think that physician assisted suicide is wrong, then they must be 100% against ending life-support, because if not, they are hypocritical. If this is really suicide, then pulling the plug is murder.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      I have religious misgivings about her decision, and at the same time I believe in her free agency, thus her ability (if potentially wrong) to make her own decision.

      Similarly, women have free agency to terminate a healthy pregnancy, but the debate continues about limits on that decision being carried out, for that involves choosing the death of another's life..

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Alli....If this heart-wrenching story doesn't touch us all deeply on a personal level...nothing will. I saw this beautiful young lady in a video just the other day when she explained that she had postponed the original date of Nov. 1st. I see now that it was just for one more day.

      How incredibly courageous of this young woman to make this decision. As sad as a death is, I can't help but feel that her family and loved ones were most grateful to be able to be with her to the final moment.....in full knowledge that this is her right and that she chose to pass on painlessly, peacefully & surrounded by love. Thank you for this, Alli....UP+++

    • Sulabha profile image

      Sulabha Dhavalikar 

      3 years ago from Indore, India

      Sad. Very, very sad. My earnest wish is-

      May her soul rest in peace.

    • Lionrhod profile image

      Lionrhod 

      3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I hadn't heard about Brittany until I found your article, but this touched me deeply.

      My sister is presently battling rectal cancer. Many of our family are concerned that she is choosing natural, and not-as-proven therapies rather than conventional radiation/chemo/surgery. Scared as I might be, I have to respect her choice.

      Several years ago, I priestessed at the deathbed of a dear friend who had lymphoma and decided her time was up. She made certain that the doctors wouldn't try any more, and when she slipped into a coma, we gathered around and sang to her as they removed the breathing tube. It was sad, but moving and beautiful.

      Each of us has the right to make a choice both about how to live as well as how to die.

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 

      3 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      All of us might think we'd know what to do if faced with her circumstance but no one really knows until they are walking in her shoes. I pray for peace for her family knowing she is in a better place and free of her pain,

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate the fact that you made no moral judgments in this article. Thank you for that. Maynard made a decision about her own life. It is so easy for others, not in her shoes, to say what she should have done. It was her life and her choice, and that's the way it should be for all of us.

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