- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A 29-year-old woman who was diagnosed with a severe brain tumor earlier this year has decided Nov. 1 will be the day of her death.

Brittany Maynard was diagnosed in January with grade II Astrocytoma shortly after her wedding. The tumor ended up progressing to glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest form of brain cancer. After treatment, the average life expectancy is only 14 months. Doctors said her death would likely be slow and painful, a local Fox affiliate reported.

“I have to tell you, 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,” Mrs. Maynard says in a video on her website, The Brittany Fund.

Mrs. Maynard and her family moved to Oregon earlier this year so she would have access to the state’s “Death with Dignity Act,” which has allowed over 750 people to die using medication since 1997, the Fox affiliate reported.

On Nov. 1, surrounded by her husband, mother and best friend, the newlywed will end her life, just two days after her husband’s birthday.

“There is not a cell in my body that is suicidal or that wants to die,” Mrs. Maynard told People magazine. “I want to live. I wish there was a cure for my disease but there’s not. … Being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying.”

“Now, I’m able to move forward in my remaining days or weeks I have on this beautiful Earth, to seek joy and love and to spend time traveling to outdoor wonders of nature with those I love,” she told CNN. “And I know that I have a safety net.”

Life-rights advocacy organization Compassion & Choices and The Brittany Fund will allow Mrs. Maynard’s story bring attention to end-of-life rights, the Fox affiliate reported.

Compassion & Choices said she will spend her last days fighting for others’ rights to end their lives, the station said.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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