First off, this is going to make you cry. And it might derail your afternoon. So, fair warning.
29-year-old Brittany Maynard has been diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme, the most lethal and quickly moving form of brain cancer. Between her first diagnosis on January 1 of this year and several months later, her condition had changed so rapidly that her prognosis went from several years to several months left to live. Because treatment options are so few and because her quality of life is already compromised she suffers seizures and debilitating headaches Maynard has decided she wants to die with dignity on a specified date, November 1, well before the holidays, and two days after her husband's birthday.
Maynard's story is obviously heartbreaking and depressing, but she is using it as a reason to bring attention to Oregon's Death With Dignity Act, which is something that California does not yet have. As CBS 5 reports, she has had to relocate her family to Oregon in order to take advantage of the seventeen-year-old law, and has already procured a prescription for medicine that will allow her to die painlessly, in her own bedroom, with her family around her.
She's made the video above and started the Brittany Maynard Fund under the auspices of Compassion & Choices, which is seeking donations to help support legal battles and ballot measures to bring more assisted-suicide laws to more states. Currently only four other states have similar laws to Oregon: Washington, Montana, Vermont, and New Mexico.
"Before I pass, I'm hoping to make it to the Grand Canyon, because I've never been," says Maynard in the later part of the video, in case you choke up before getting to that.