29-Year-Old Woman: Why I'm Taking My Own Life
Brittany Maynard plans to legally kill herself next month
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2014 7:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – A young woman who has fearlessly run half-marathons and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro now faces a more daunting task: taking her own life. But Brittany Maynard, 29, insists she's not the least bit suicidal, People reports. "There is not a cell in my body that is suicidal or that wants to die," she says. "I want to live. I wish there was a cure for my disease but there's not." Diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, Maynard has moved with her family to Oregon so she can legally kill herself with lethal medication. Experts tell her that death by stage 4 glioblastoma would be "a terrible, terrible way to die," Maynard says, and "being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying." Her husband, mother, stepfather, and closest friend (who's a doctor) will be by her side when she goes.

Maynard has also joined the nonprofit Compassion & Choices, which is advocating for death-with-dignity laws in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Colorado, and California, Inquisitr reports. So far, two states—Vermont and Washington—have joined Oregon in passing such laws. Maynard says she'll help the cause by giving California lawmakers videotape testimony in mid-October. Then, two days after her husband's Oct. 30 birthday, she plans to end her life. "I'm getting sicker, dealing with more pain and seizures and difficulties so I just selected [the date]," she says. "I'm dying, but I'm choosing to suffer less, to put myself through less physical and emotional pain and my family as well." See the Brittany Maynard Fund, or read about a woman who killed herself and left a note about right-do-die laws.