Brittany Maynard is the beautiful 29-year-old woman who, after being diagnosed with the most malicious and fatal form of brain cancer, has made the terribly difficult decision to end her life with the aid of a doctor, legally, through Oregon's Death With Dignity Act. Maynard will end her life on November 1st, just two days after her husband's birthday, surrounded by her loved ones. To do so, Maynard will separate 100 capsules of the sedative secobarbital prescribed to her by her doctor, dissolve the contents in water, and drink it.
On Monday, Brittany Maynard's representative said she would not be speaking publicly again as she and her loved ones face these final days together.
Maynard did take the time to update her blog earlier this month, posting a heartbreak glimpse into why she has not only made the decision to end her life, but why she bravely went public with it.
"The response from you all has surpassed our wildest expectations. On behalf of my family, thank you for the outpouring of love and support."Even after Brittany Maynard has made the decision to, as she says, die with dignity and, in spite of increasing pain and debilitating seizures, Maynard and her family are making the most of their time left together.
"This journey has been challenging, to say the least. We've uprooted our lives. I take prescription drugs to reduce the swelling in my brain, that have caused my entire body to swell instead. Dan and I have given up our dreams of having a family. My mother is soon to lose her only child. We can all agree that no parent should bury their child."
"I didn't launch this campaign because I wanted attention; in fact, it's hard for me to process it all. I did this because I want to see a world where everyone has access to death with dignity, as I have had. My journey is easier because of this choice."
"I am so lucky to have known the love of an amazing husband (my husband Dan is a hero), a loving, caring mother, and an incredible group of friends and extended family. As my time draws closer, I hope you will all take up my request to carry on this work, and support them as they carry on my legacy. I'm so grateful to you all."
In a final interview with People magazine, Brittany said that just last week she and her family "took on" Oregon's Columbia River Gorge. "We had a beautiful day of driving what's called the Fruit Loop out here," Maynard said.
And with less than two weeks before Maynard's chosen date, Brittany's mother Debbie Zeigler says the Grand Canyon is next on the family's agenda. "She really wants to see the Grand Canyon," says Zeigler. "So we're going to try."
For the girl who has lived her life adventurously, ice-climbing in Ecuador, kayaking in Patagonia, and climbing to the very summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, the Grand Canyon should be just one of many in a long line of such trips -- instead, her heartbroken mother, who knows she will be losing her only child in a matter of days, calls the hopeful excursion to the Grand Canyon Brittany's "last hurrah."
Brittany Maynard has said, "I don't want to die, but I am dying." But it also seems as though she makes sure she is living with what time she has left.
For more on Brittany Maynard, her choice in choosing her own death, and the Death with Dignity legislation she has spent her final days advocating for, read Young Woman Plans To End Her Life On Nov. 1 -- Explains It's Not Suicide.
[Image via The Mirror]