A terminally ill woman choosing to end her life in November has crossed off the last item on her bucket list, as she and her family were able to travel to the Grand Canyon last week.
“This week, my family and I traveled to the Grand Canyon, thanks to the kindness of Americans around the country who came forward to make my ‘bucket list’ dream come true,” Brittany Maynard, 29, posted on her personal website on Oct. 24.
“The Canyon was breathtakingly beautiful, and I was able to enjoy my time with the two things I love most: my family and nature,” Maynard said in her post.
The California native was diagnosed with a progressive brain tumor, and has chosen November 1 as the day she will die. Her story has been vastly covered in the media.
After her wedding last year, Maynard began having severe headaches, and in January was diagnosed with grade II astrocytoma. Doctors initially gave her 10 years to live, but subsequent scans showed the tumor progressed into glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest form of cancer with an average life expectancy of 14 months.
Doctors told Maynard her death would likely be slow and painful.
The family moved to Oregon where the state’s “Death with Dignity Act” allows people to choose to die using medication. Since the act was instated in 1997, more than 750 people have taken advantage of it.
Since Maynard’s story went viral, she has been working to raise awareness of end-of-life rights by working with life-rights advocacy organization Compassion & Choices, and The Brittany Maynard Fund. She has also been traveling and spending time with her family.
“Sadly, it is impossible to forget my cancer. Severe headaches and neck pain are never far away, and unfortunately the next morning I had my worst seizure thus far. My speech was paralyzed for quite a while after I regained consciousness, and the feeling of fatigue continued for the rest of the day,” Maynard said on her website.
“The seizure was a harsh reminder that my symptoms continue to worsen as the tumor runs its course. However, I find meaning and take pride that the Compassion & Choices movement is accelerating rapidly, thanks to supporters like you,” Maynard said.
Maynard will die in her bedroom at home surrounded by her husband, mother, step-father and best friend.