Brittany Maynard Wants to Live! Let’s Help Her to Live Well.

Brittany Maynard Wants to Live! Let’s Help Her to Live Well. October 29, 2014

Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old brain cancer patient who announced her plan to take her own life on November 1, may have changed her mind.  According to a report by Norah O’Donnell on CBS News, the terminally ill woman isn’t feeling so bad–and now she wants to “see how it goes.”

Brittany had been married only a year when she received a devastating diagnosis in April 2014:  She had an aggressive form of brain cancer and, according to doctors, had possibly only six months left to live.

Brittany, fearful of being dependent and losing her faculties as her illness progressed, decided rather than wait for the disease to progress, she would commit suicide on November 1.  She moved with her family from California to Oregon because assisted suicide is legal in that state.  She has determined to spend her last days fundraising and lobbying for legalization of assisted suicide in other states.  Brittany said,

“I hope to pass in peace.  The reason to consider life and what’s of value is to make sure you’re not missing out, seize the day, what’s important to you, what do you care about–what matters–pursue that, forget the rest.”

Since the diagnosis, Brittany has been ticking off items on her “bucket list” in an attempt to squeeze in as much living as possible in the brief time she has left.  Last week, with the help of a crowd-sourcing campaign, she visited the Grand Canyon with her family–checking off the last item on her list.

But now, it appears that Brittany may not be so anxious to end it all on Saturday, after all.  She’s not feeling that bad; and with only a few days left until November 1 and her planned demise, she seems to be reconsidering.

 I can’t say with authority what caused Brittany to change her mind.  I can’t say that she won’t, at some future date, decide to go ahead with her plan to take her own life, rather than waiting for God to take her home according to His timetable. CBS’s report doesn’t sound like a major reversal; in fact, it seems more like a stay of execution.

But I can say this:  Death is scary.  For all of us.  No one looks forward with pleasure to the prospect of increasing dependency, pain, and loss of self-control.  In the face of such a troubling future, perhaps Brittany needs reassurance and a calming voice, letting her know that she won’t be too much trouble even when she’s bedridden, that she’ll still be beautiful if her hair falls out, that those closest to her will treasure every minute that they have together.

In this Internet era, Brittany has gotten one Great Big Group Hug from people she’ll likely never meet.  There’s been a groundswell of support and sympathy on Facebook and in other social media.  A crowd-sourcing campaign funded her trip to the Grand Canyon–for which she thanked people via her website.  Around the world, people have prayed for her–including on this Facebook page, which is dedicated to a day of fasting and prayer for Brittany on October 31.

Seminarian Philip Johnson
Seminarian Philip Johnson

One of the most touching articles emanating from this is a column written by a Catholic seminarian, Philip Johnson, who is himself suffering from an aggressive brain cancer but who has chosen to live as long and as well as he is able.  Philip wrote:

I have experienced so much sadness due to my illness, but there have also been times of great joy.  The support I have received from others encourages me to keep pushing on. I want to be a priest, I want to see my three young nephews grow up, and these goals give me the hope to wake up each day and live my life with trust.

Today, Brittany Maynard wants to live.  Somehow–perhaps as a result of the prayers of thousands of people around the world–she has found the strength and determination to push forward.  I am grateful for that.  Her family must be relieved, too, that she’s changed her mind and will now wait and see what will happen with this cancer.

Now and on November 1, All Saints Day, let us storm heaven for this lovely young woman.  Let us pray that God will grant her the grace to live well and love much, and to put her life in His hands.  And when her death draws near, may she find peace in knowing that for this, we were created:  to be with Him for all eternity.


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  • Dennis Mahon

    Please, Dear Lord, grant courage and hope to your daughter Brittany, who has been under such trial. Amen

  • d marino

    She will most certainly reach that point of “ready to die”. Until that time, she is just not “ready”. She needs to make the plans now, while she can still think for herself and mentally function. Because, by the time she starts receiving mind altering pain medications, her decisions will not have the same enforcement if doctors and hospitals want to bleed her and her family of every last dime they have in order to maintain her living.

    • MotherGinger

      There are other alternatives, d marino. So many act as if the only alternatives are “prolong traces of life at any and every cost to the bitter end” or “kill yourself.” No. There is dying the way most human beings have ever died: refuse all extraordinary treatment; take only the necessities of life (food and water), and let death comes when it may.

      This is always a moral option, and one which leaves both her and those close to her with the most healing and peace.

  • Aaron Mickaelian

    Somehow, perhaps as the result of the prayers of thousands of people…. I cannot believe the author is really entertaining this idea. Does the author believe that Brittany would not be changing her mind right now if nobody had prayed for her? Why do we look at death as a bad thing? In fact if death results in the end of suffering it should be celebrated…..

    • Tony

      I would like to point out that it’s not death that isn’t being celebrated, it’s the method that she is choosing to use. By choosing to end her life prematurely, she brings on much pain and suffering upon her family, and upon herself (no sane person would be able to look at death, willing to kill themselves, and not experience a huge amount of fear). Death is good, it releases us from our mortal existence and allows us to move on to what is afterwards.

  • dagobarbz

    We’ll see. I’m not inclined to believe anything a talking head says in the media these days. So get back to me on November 2.

  • donna

    Miracles happen around us every day. Even miraculous healing. Please give yourself time to see what wonderful things can happen to hou, as they already have. Praying for you and for a clear mind in this matter. So many care for you, even when they don’the know you. I send love and will continue to pray that you live life with gratitude for every day, every, hour, every minute and every breath.

  • Tracy

    So glad she has changed her mind. My mother in law died a few months ago from the same thing that she has, and was not in any pain right the way through, and just slept quite a lot towards the end. She still recognized us all right up until she died. Everyone reacts differently, so I hope for Brittany, first of all that God would heal her, but if He doesn’t, then she is able to spend what time she has left free from pain and with her family.

    • Mudhammutt (DaveUcannotta)

      She did not change her mind, this story is utterly false. Brittany died on schedule, Saturday. While I personally dislike the idea of picking an arbitrary time to die, as I would want to enjoy every last minute which I possibly can, she may have already reached the point that she was suffering too much, and just wanted to knock away her bucket list before taking that final relief. Making up false stories such as this is so far beneath contempt that if Kathy ever found out personally how it feels to be in Brittany’s tragic, and agonizing position, then I would say she deserves it more than anybody.

  • Jennifer Burrum

    I have had it on my heart for the last several days to get in touch with Brittany Maynard. I have worked in oncology , I have seen people suffer, I have seen people be healed miraculously. At 29 years old I know it it hard to believe that it could end so soon. I only want Brittany to know that if she will turn to Jesus and Believe in her heart that he can save her and give her that peaceful ending or that miraculous healing, he will hear her and answer her. Brittany if you read this know that our heavenly father is the the one who decides when your last day should be for a reason. He has a purpose for you Brittany Maynard though the storm you are facing now is rough and their seems to be no sunshine for you, please believe JESUS, he can make this a peacful end at his choosing, I am so afraid for you that if you end your life your self you will not be celebrating in heaven with me when I get there. I pray Brittany every morning for you to find peace in Jesus and peace in your soul to let GOD work in you the purpose he has for you. Just know that so many out here are praying so much for you to change your mind.. Your family may seem okay with it but I feel I must stand up and let you know that there is a GOD and he is a might physician , he is the one and only and he loves you and wants you to choose him and to chosse eternal life. Thank you for reading and I will continue to pray for you daily..
    IN my heavenly Fathers Name Jesus,
    Jennifer Burrum
    Murfreesboro, Tennessee

  • Josh

    I wish somebody close to this woman would encourage her to spend some time in Washington where she can easily access cannabis oil:

  • Jim

    God speed….. Say hello to my Dad for me where you are going.
    I hope you always feel the love of Family and friends.

  • Josh

    Try cannabis oil Brittany! What do you have to lose?

  • Loveslife

    Dear Brittany, I’m praying so hard for you. I pray they will find a cure for your disease. I’m also praying for a complete healing in your body. And if for some reason that doesn’t happen I pray that your days would be filled wiith joy, and pain free. I pray that God would reveal himself to you in a way that only he can do. I pray that he would pour down his love in such a mighty and powerful way that if you have any doubts about him, or his love for you, that if you decide down the road to end your life that you would want to stay and help other people who are going through the same as you, that life here is precious until the very end.

    • Mudhammutt (DaveUcannotta)

      Prayer is what you do when you don’t care enough to do something which would truly help that other person, or you just aren’t honest enough to admit when they can’t.

      My heart and my thoughts are with Brittany and her grieving family now, and that’s all that needs saying.

  • Chris Nunez

    Kathy, I’m sorry, but I’ve seen way too many photos of this woman looking very glamorous in and carefree in too many photos. There is a nagging feeling in my gut that regardless of her ‘condition’ this is self-centered attention getting. I for one am going to ‘delete’ anymore posts about this soap opera-like happening. And news and social media are getting way too much mileage out of this. Something is not right with this whole story.

    • VP

      Chris Nunez, your post is rather heartless. Does not really matter whether the girl appears to be glamorous or not. The story behind the beauty appearance is a dieing person in a peak of her life. AND it is a true story. A soap-opera-like is nothing to do with her. Why don;t you join in prayer that good thing happen to many more people as they testify Brittany’s life.

      • Chris Nunez

        As adults we are to be wise enough to protect the young, the innocent and naive from predators. If you don’t recognize a spiritual predator you are not able to protect the young and innocent.
        I’m sorry, but calling me heartless does not move me. “Be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove…” was sound advice given to all who would protect the flock from predators. A predator, whether a wolf or a spiritual vampire does not devour the sheep because they hate the sheep, the predator devours the sheep because it is spiritually hungry… and spiritual vampires suck the life-blood out of others. I am skeptical of the motives here, and I do pray fervently that people not fall prey to something that seems to be generating too much media space. Prayers for recovery or ‘healing’ is always appropriate, but I also pray for those who may be pulled in out of some unhealthy need of their own, but even more, for the naive who are dragged into an unhealthy display of somebody who threatens ‘suicide.’
        – ‘Summon the devil and he will appear.’
        This woman has raised the subject of suicide and people are taking sides, some against suicide, but now we’re also hearing voices justifying suicide. This is a subject that has not been discussed in public for some time, but here it is. Don’t you think that some people who are bereft of hope will now listen to the voices who are justifying this woman’s initial assertion that she has the ‘right’ to choose her own time? She has summoned the devil, and my prayer is that the devil does not take any bystanders who’ve heard the voices of people justifying her initial claim to a ‘right’ to die at her own hands!

        • Ugh. You are just another predator is sheep’s clothing: using God and religion to cloak your own bias and hate. And you’ll be the only one that has to answer for that in the end.

          Apparently, you are in need of some education, and I’m more than happy to help you with that. First, suicide is the intentional act of killing oneself. She is not killing herself, she is already dying. She has been handed a death sentence – a huge tumor engulfing her brain at a very young age and there is no hope of recovery. And if you want to get REALLY technical, she did not give that to herself: you and I both know who did. She is NOT

          committing suicide. Robin Williams? He hung himself and left his family, That was suicide. Very sad, very tragic, and that was suicide, yes. This is not the same.

          I am getting REALLY tired of you and all of the other religious nutjobs out there thinking you can speak on God’s behalf. Let’s say a soldier falls on a grenade to spare his brigade. This would be an act of honor and valor in most eyes, but by your logic, he has just commited suicide and has summoned the devil. This is absolutely ludicious, of course, but since you’re speaking on God’s behalf, I’m sure you’re ready to condemn him to hell, correct?

          And THIS horrific comment:

          “I’ve seen way too many photos of this woman looking very glamorous in and carefree in too many photos.”

          2 Timothy 3:5-6:
          “5. having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions…”

          These are not the words of kindness, compassion and love.

          This, this, this. This is EVIL. THIS is the devil. How DARE YOU say something so horrible, so completely and utterly unfeeling, uncompassionate, and unGODLIKE about a a young person who’s life has been taken so young, and so horrificly from her. You are nothing but a wolf in sheep’s clothing, pretending to be Godly, but really just a monster. You should be ashamed of yourself. Were I to be like you and speak on God’s behalf, I’d guess that he would be ashamed of you too, but I would never speak for him. I’ll only speak for myself and say I’m disgusted with you and your comments.

        • Mudhammutt (DaveUcannotta)

          There is no good reason to believe in any sort of supernatural “devil”, but all of the evil which has been associated with devils comes out in the words and actions of ignorant theists.You truly are one disgusting, cruel and heartless piece of work!

    • Mudhammutt (DaveUcannotta)

      She was 29 years old, with a terminal diagnosis, which doctors don’t hand out in most cases even when they don’t expect you to live another year. You don’t know what she actually looked like on her last day, nor a month ago. Why do you think she should have shared photos for the world to remember her by which didn’t show her at her best? What a nice, insensitive Christian jerk it takes to talk like that of somebody who he knows nothing of.

  • Adilan

    Ola, Brittany
    Quero te dizer algo, não desista de si mesma Deus tem um proposito para cada um de nós e com certeza tem um proposito para sua vida também, se você acha que não suporta mais tanto sofrimento entregue tudo nas mão Dele só peço que confie nEle e Ele tudo fará, viva cada minuto de sua vida profundamente com as pessoas que ama. Existem tantas pessoas em cima de uma cama sem forças para se levantarem e mesmo assim não desistem de suas vidas lutam até o ultimo minuto, porque têm fé em Deus e Ele dá forças para continuarem lutando Deus te dará forças para você e sua família enfrentarem mais essa batalha. Que Deus te abençoe grandemente!!! Amém

  • NotNow

    Joining my prayers to the thousands of other people praying hard for Brittany’s full recovery. She is a very impressive young lady, and my heart goes out to her and her family.

  • Randy Myers

    dear Britney have you tried 35% hydrogen peroxide 3 drops and 6 ounces of water 6 times a day add years to your life

  • marci

    Dear Brittany,
    There are so many protocols for beating cancer. Look in this site.
    A lot a people survived cancer eating right food, taking right vitamins.Have faith.
    I will pray for you!

  • DG

    For Brittany….Mark 9:23, Jesus said…” If you can believe, all things are possible”. Psalm 118:17, I shall not die, but live, And declare the works of the Lord. Psalm 103:2-3, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all my iniquities, who heals all my diseases. Psalm 107:20, He sent His word and healed me, and delivered me.

  • Mudhammutt (DaveUcannotta)

    No she doesn’t! She died on Saturday, as planned.

    Your exploitation of this poor woman and her family as they deal with this heart-rending tragedy makes you an absolute disgrace to everything that’s good which Christians (falsely) associate your religious ideas. Jerks for Jesus is the one part which you people play consistently!

    • She exploited her over and over on numerous blog posts. And of course, when called out on her hypocrisy, she does not respond to any comments. She is exactly what you stated: a disgrace to anything that could possibly be good about religion – and hence why I detest it. I believe in God, but one that is loving and kind and that allows us to learn and grow and evolve with the world and gives us intelligence, science, and free will. These so called “Christians” just gift wrap their bias and hate in pages from their antiquated Bible and say it’s the word of God. Exploiting God (and tragic terminally ill cancer stories) for their own personal agendas. Sickening.