Before 29-year-old Brittany Maynard chose to end her life in November 2014 amid a battle with terminal, incurable brain cancer, she made a specific request to her husband: She wanted him, and no one else, to tell her story after she died.
On Friday, Good Housekeeping ran an excerpt of Deborah Ziegler’s, Maynard’s mother, upcoming book “Wild and Precious Life,” prompting Dan Diaz to release a statement on Facebook emphasizing that his late wife entrusted him with her legacy.
“Brittany was very specific about how her story should be told and she went to great lengths to prevent her story from being misrepresented,” Diaz, 44, wrote on Facebook, adding that he promised his late wife he’d release the prepared statement in the event of her mother writing a book about her life.
“’I love my mother very much, but I don’t want her to be a storyteller about me. She’s been a great mom and I wouldn’t be here without her but I don’t want her to write about me. It is not her place to do so.’ Brittany prophetically warned, ‘…my mother might be the biggest problem regarding protecting my story,’” the post read.
People.com reported that Diaz responded Monday to leaked news that the film company Good Universe had optioned rights to tell Diaz’s and Maynard’s story. Diaz is set to be an executive producer on the film.
“It’s a way that I can share the true story of Brittany so that the audience gets the true picture of who she was,” Diaz told the magazine. “Most importantly, it will help move [aid in dying] legislation forward by sharing the reality of what Brittany was going through and the logic of the decisions she was making, that being her true legacy.”
Maynard and Diaz moved from California to Oregon, where the state’s Death with Dignity law allows some individuals to end their own lives under certain circumstances. A flurry of news reports, videos and images surrounding Maynard’s story made her the face of the right-to-die movement.
“No one else can tell my story, Dan, except for you,” she told her husband, according to a statement Diaz posted Oct. 14 on Facebook. “You are the only one that has been here for me the entire time and you are the only one that can share the meaningful private moments that I would want shared.”