Brittany Maynard plans on celebrating her husband's Oct. 30 birthday, and then just two days later, she will pass on quietly in her Oregon home, with a close friend and immediate family at her side. "There is not a cell in my body that is suicidal or that wants to die," she told People. "I want to live. I wish there was a cure for my disease, but there's not."
In January 2014, Maynard was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and, at 29 years old, was given 10 years to live. Then her prognosis took a turn for the worse, and her cancer progressed so quickly that she was given just a few months to live. Those months, doctors told her, would be painful, slow, and extremely difficult. So Brittany made a choice to decide for herself the time and place of her passing. She was living in San Francisco at the time, but because the state of California does not allow for aid in dying from doctors, Maynard and her family moved to Oregon, one of just five states in the United States where terminally ill patients have this option. There, she is using the time she has left to work as an advocate for death with dignity through her online video campaign in partnership with Compassion and Choices, an end-of-life choice advocacy nonprofit.
In the video, Brittany explains why she made this difficult choice, saying that she can't even explain the "amount of relief" that it gives her to know she doesn't have to die the way the brain tumor would take her on its own, emphasizing that in the face of suffering, she should be able to choose when enough is enough. Watch the full video to hear her story, and get insight into death with dignity and why some choose this path. In her last days, Brittany, her husband, and her friends and family continue to travel and spend time together as much as they can. "Before I pass, I'm hoping to make it to the Grand Canyon," she says in the video. "I've never been, and that's all I can do is set little goals like that, and all those things make every day worthwhile."