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Posted: October 30, 2014

Previously: Terminally ill woman says now 'doesn't seem like the right time' to die

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Cox Media Group National Content Desk

PORTLAND —

UPDATE: Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old woman with terminal brain cancer who became the new face of the right-to-die movement, has died according to her wishes, a spokesman said Sunday.

Read the full story here:

>> Woman with terminal brain cancer ends her own life

>> Social media reaction to the death of Brittany Maynard

This is a breaking news update. The previous story appears below:

Brittany Maynard, the terminally ill woman who went public with her decision to end her life, said in a video released Wednesday that she has yet to decide on the date to end her life. 

The 29-year-old Oregon woman says she is waiting to see how her symptoms progress before deciding on a date, but that she's still determined to make the decision to end her life before she becomes too ill.

“I still feel good enough and I still have enough joy and I still laugh and smile with my family and friends enough that it doesn’t seem like the right time right now,” Maynard says in a video released to CNN on Wednesday. “But it will come, because I feel myself getting sicker. It’s happening each week.”

Maynard has stage 4 glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor. There is no cure and, in April, she was given six months to live.

She recently visited the Grand Canyon, after previously stating  it was one place she hoped to visit before she died.

Maynard's story spread rapidly on social media after she publicly announced her plans to use medication to end her life. She has become a leader in the "death with dignity" movement, which advocates for terminally ill people to die on their own terms.

"When people criticize me for not waiting longer, or, you know, whatever they've decided is best for me, it hurts," Maynard says in the most recent video released by end-of-life choice advocacy group Compassion & Choices, "because really, I risk it every day, every day that I wake up."

In the video, Maynard discusses her fear of waiting too long to end her life.

"The worst thing that could happen to me is that I wait too long because I'm trying to seize each day," she says, "but I somehow have my autonomy taken away from me by my disease because of the nature of my cancer."

 

PREVIOUS REPORT (Oct. 27, 2014):

The young woman who has chosen to die on Nov. 1, using Oregon’s assisted suicide law, has spoken publicly for the last time a representative said Monday.

>>NEW:  Photos from her October 24th Grand Canyon visit

Brittany Maynard, 29, told People magazine  in a new interview that she is firm in her decision.

“I don’t want to die but I am dying,” Maynard said. “My [cancer] is going to kill me, and it’s a terrible, terrible way to die. So to be able to die with my family with me, to have control over my own mind, which I would stand to lose – to go with dignity is less terrifying.”

On her personal blog  earlier this month, Maynard thanked her supporters and, especially, her husband.

“The response from you all has surpassed our wildest expectations. On behalf of my family, thank you for the outpouring of love and support.

This journey has been challenging, to say the least. We’ve uprooted our lives. I take prescription drugs to reduce the swelling in my brain, that have caused my entire body to swell instead. Dan and I have given up our dreams of having a family. My mother is soon to lose her only child. We can all agree that no parent should bury their child.

I didn’t launch this campaign because I wanted attention; in fact, it’s hard for me to process it all. I did this because I want to see a world where everyone has access to death with dignity, as I have had. My journey is easier because of this choice.

I am so lucky to have known the love of an amazing husband (my husband Dan is a hero), a loving, caring mother, and an incredible group of friends and extended family. As my time draws closer, I hope you will all take up my request to carry on this work, and support them as they carry on my legacy. I’m so grateful to you all.”

PREVIOUS REPORT (Oct. 7, 2014):

Brittany Maynard has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, run half marathons and traveled to exotic spots around the world.

But on Nov. 1, the 29-year-old with a lust for life will die.

Maynard has stage 4 glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor. There is no cure and, in April, she was given six months to live.

Maynard intends to end her own life Nov. 1 with medication prescribed to her by her doctor. But she says her decision does not make this a suicide.

"There is not a cell in my body that is suicidal or that wants to die," Maynard told PEOPLE magazine. "I want to live. I wish there was a cure for my disease but there's not." 


Maynard has launched an online video campaign with the nonprofit group Compassion & Choices, an end-of-life choice advocacy organization. She will spend her last few weeks fighting for expanding death-with-dignity laws nationwide.

"My glioblastoma is going to kill me, and that's out of my control," she told PEOPLE. "I've discussed with many experts how I would die from it, and it's a terrible, terrible way to die. Being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying." 

The Nov. 1 date was chosen so that Maynard could celebrate her husband Dan's birthday.

"I really wanted to celebrate my husband's birthday, which is October 30," she says. "I'm getting sicker, dealing with more pain and seizures and difficulties so I just selected it." 

According to PEOPLE, Maynard and her entire family moved to Portland after her diagnosis in order to have access to Oregon’s Death and Dignity Act. The law has been in place in Portland since 1997 and more than 750 people have reportedly used it to legally choose death by prescription medication.

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