When I learned three weeks ago that Brittany Maynard, a resident of Oregon, had terminal brain cancer and had planned to exercise her right-to-die, the only thing that stopped me from jumping in my car and driving down from Seattle was my work load and work travel.
You see, although I am a very compassionate person and do believe in “death with dignity” based on what I have read, I don’t feel that Brittany nor her family explored all of her options in efforts to fight her brain cancer. As a patient advocate, I work with brain tumor patients and their families locally, nationally and worldwide through my work with www.ChrisElliottFund.org and www.EndBrainCancer.com so after weeks of thought on this issue, I find Brittany’s decision, so early in the treatment of her brain cancer, hard to comprehend. I fight, every day, for IMMEDIATE ACCESS to advanced treatment for this patient population. There are options out there and it’s our job to help people find them.
As my colleague, Dr. Al Musella from the Musella Foundation pointed out, next week is the Society of Neuro-oncology’s Annual Meeting where neuro specialists, such as researchers, scientists, neuro-surgeons, neuro-oncologists, patient advocates, pharma and device companies, etc. come together to present new treatments and the results of clinical trials with 90% of all presentations concentrating on Glioblastoma/GBM, which is the type of tumor Brittany had. Both Al and I will be at this meeting learning about new treatments for brain cancer so that we can share these treatments with those that contact us. We will be putting patients in direct contact with the specialists running these clinical trials and advanced treatments. I truly wish we could have had the opportunity to do this for Brittany.
As a 501 (c)3 non-profit, the Chris Elliott Fund provides free brain tumor patient & caregiver support services and educational materials. We would have been honored to advocate on behalf of Brittany and her family. We are confident that she had more options than her family were likely lead to believe were available. Rest in peace Brittany and to Brittany’s family; please consider working with us at the Chris Elliott Fund to keep Brittany’s legacy alive and to further spread the message that the world needs more education and awareness related to this disease.
May is National Brain Tumor Awareness Month. The Chris Elliott Fund will be dedicating May 2015 to Education and Awareness Related to Brain Cancer Treatment Options in honor of Brittany Maynard. To learn more about and keep current with the Chris Elliott Fund, advanced brain tumor treatment options, advocacy work being done to bring more treatment options and quality of life to patients like Brittany, please sign up for our periodic email newsBLAST and learn more about our free services at www.ChrisElliottFund.org, www.EndBrainCancer.com or contact us directly at 800-574-5703 or at Info@ChrisElliottFund.org. Blessings,
Dellann Elliott Mydland, Founder & President
Chris Elliott Fund.