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Why is this woman choosing to die two days after her husband’s birthday?

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Posted at 9:43 AM, Oct 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-07 17:00:18-04

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A terminally ill 29-year-old woman has chosen November 1st as the day she will die - just two days after her husband's birthday.

Shortly after her wedding in 2013, Brittany Maynard began experiencing debilitating headaches.

While on vacation with her husband in January, Brittany was diagnosed with grade II Astrocytoma, a severe brain tumor. Doctors told her she had 10 years left to live.

Brittany Maynard: My right to death with dignity at 29

"I have to tell you," she says in the video, "when you’re 29 years old, being told you have that kind of timeline still feels like being told you’re going to die tomorrow.”

Courtesy: Brittany Maynard

Courtesy: Brittany Maynard

Following the original diagnosis, doctors said her cancer had progressed to Glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest form of brain cancer. After treatment, the average life expectancy is only 14 months.

When doctors told Brittany her death would likely be slow and painful as the tumor continued to grow, she opted to choose her own ending.

On November 1, surrounded by her husband, mother and best friend, she will end her life using medication prescribed by her doctor.

Maynard's husband's birthday is October 30.

The medication will give her a "peaceful and painless" ending to her life. However, Brittany said this is not a suicide.

"There is not a cell in my body that is suicidal or that wants to die," Maynard told People.com. "I want to live. I wish there was a cure for my disease but there's not. … Being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying."

Courtesy: Brittany Maynard

Courtesy: Brittany Maynard

Maynard's family moved with her to Oregon earlier this year so she would have access to Oregon's "Death with Dignity Act," which has allowed over 750 people to die using medication since 1997.

Life-rights advocacy organization Compassion & Choices and The Brittany Maynard Fund will provide Brittany a platform to share her story and bring attention to the end-of-life rights.

According to Compassion & Choices, Brittany will spend her last days fighting for others’ rights to end their lives.