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Brittany Maynard May Not End Her Life After All

Married for a year, Brittany Maynard, 29, found she had aggressive brain cancer. She had six months to live, and she didn't want her family to watch her dying in pain. Maynard and her family moved to Oregon to take advantage of the Death with Dignity law.
Photograph by Courtesy Brittany Maynard

For months, the date November 1, 2014, was going to be the last day of Brittany Maynard's life. She had decided it months ago, all on her own; she made plans to travel to Oregon with her family right beforehand, so she could end things peacefully, and on her own terms.

The 29-year-old, who is terminally ill with brain cancer, decided to share her story with the rest of the world over the last few weeks to gain support for the advocacy group Compassion & Choices, as well as for Oregon's "Death with Dignity Act." And in doing so, she's captivated nearly everyone who hears her heart-wrenching story.

"When doctors told me that my cancer was incurable, but that I had treatment options that would prolong my life but expose me to pain and suffering, I chose a different path," she shared with Elite Daily earlier this month. "I chose time with my husband and mother. I chose travel. I chose adventures. My greatest challenge has been accepting that death is part of my story this soon in my journey. It’s not that I am unafraid now, but I’ve gone through an intellectual and emotional process over the last seven months that has brought a lot of acceptance. Accepting death became significantly easier once I had access to death with dignity."

But now, just two days away from the end of her life, Brittany has shared that she may want to stay a little longer with us after all.

"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 explains in a video exclusively released to CNN on Wednesday. "But it will come, because I feel myself getting sicker. It's happening each week."

"If Nov. 2 comes along and I’ve passed, I hope my family is still proud of me and the choices I made,” she adds, through tears.

And as for those who have been saying the 29-year-old should never have chosen to end her own life from the start, well, Maynard has a few words for them.

"When people criticize me for not waiting longer, or, you know, whatever they've decided is best for me, it hurts," she says, "because really, I risk it every day, every day that I wake up."

You can watch the full six-minute clip over on CNN.

Photo via CNN

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