I had not been following this story.  However when I read the email today it touched me.  It makes me wonder how would I handle tough situations like this.

I have had a sister and dear friend deal with cancer.  Thankfully both have been healed.

Both of these ladies are in my thoughts and prayers as they wait for healing.

Terminal cancer patient implores Brittany Maynard to reconsider her last days


This week the story of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman with terminal brain cancer who plans to end her life on November 1, has made national news. A California native, Maynard moved to Oregon for the purpose of being able to take her own life legally by aid of a prescription under the Death with Dignity Act. Her goal is to bring attention to assisted suicide laws in hopes that other states will follow Oregon’s lead.
Kara Tippetts, a Colorado mother of four, has written a letter to Maynard asking her to reconsider. Similarly, Tippetts has stage-four cancer (which started as breast cancer two years ago) that has passed the brain/blood barrier and metastasized throughout her body. She too knows that her days are numbered but believes it is possible to die with dignity while cherishing every breath she has been given. In her letter, Tippetts gently challenges the medical community to consider whether or not they are walking away from the Hippocratic Oath.


Since Tippetts’ letter to Maynard was posted on Wednesday (October 8) on Ann Voskamp’s popular blog, A Holy Experience, the post has been shared almost 900,000 times on Facebook. Tippetts book, The Hardest Peace (released last week), has also rocketed to the top 15 in sales on Amazon.com.

In her letter to Maynard, Tippetts writes:

“Dear Brittany Maynard,

 This morning my best friend and I read your story. My heart ached for you, and I’m simply grieved by your terminal brain tumor, for the less than six months the doctor’s gave you, just past your 29th birthday. With a heavy heart, I left my home and headed for my oncologist. I too am dying, Brittany. My oncologist and I sat for a long time with hurting hearts for your story. We spoke in gentle tones discussing the hard path you are being asked to travel. . . .

 . . . Today my oncologist and I spoke of your dying, of my dying and of the beautiful partnership I have with my doctors in carrying me to my last moments with gentle care. For 2,000 years doctors have lived beside the beautiful stream of protecting life and lovingly meeting patients in their dying with grace.

 The doctor who prescribed you that pill you carry with you that will hasten your last breath has walked away from the Hippocratic Oath that says, “First, do no harm.” He or she has walked away from the oath that has protected life and the beautiful dying we are granted. The doctors agreeing to such medicine are walking away from the beautiful protection of the Hippocratic Oath. . . .

 . . . Hastening death was never what God intended. But in our dying, He does meet us with His beautiful grace. The Hippocratic Oath matters, and those who are choosing to walk away from it need to be challenged. My heart hurts that they have decided to swim from the shores of grace that it protected in our living and dying. I get to partner with my doctor in my dying, and it’s going to be a beautiful and painful journey for us all.

 But, hear me – it is not a mistake – beauty will meet us in that last breath.”

 (Click here for the full letter.)

Tippetts has also been interviewed on Colorado Springs CBS affiliate KKTV (Click here to view.) as well as Denver and Colorado Springs ABC affiliates about both The Hardest Peace and her letter to Maynard.

Tippetts’ story has also been featured by:


A few of the talking points Kara Tippetts is available to address:

  • Ironically, laws such as Oregon’s that encourage physician-assisted suicide actually work to deny terminally ill patients’ death with dignity. Human dignity is affirmed by those around us, especially when others care for us in our last days. There are incredible life-giving experiences that happen in this difficult journey for both the patient and their loved ones, but physician-assisted suicide piles sorrow upon sorrow.
  • It’s one thing to say, “I don’t want any more treatment; I want the natural dying process to take its course.” It’s something quite different to ask a physician to violate the oath of “do no harm” by prescribing drugs for suicide. That crosses a bright moral line that protects vulnerable patients – and people are vulnerable to those around them when they are ill.
  • Physician-assisted suicide sends the message that the lives of some – especially the elderly, disabled and ill – are not worth living.
  • One of the most common reasons for committing assisted suicide in Oregon is not wanting to be a burden to friends and family. That speaks volumes about how we value our independence, even above the value of life, sending a larger message that life only has value if it’s independent of others.
  • People living with terminal illness deserve more than the offer of a physician to facilitate their death. They merit true compassion from people who come alongside them in this journey.

Press release for The Hardest Peace:

 Kara Tippetts chronicles her difficulties and triumphs, offering hope to everyone who hurts

 Colorado Springs: Life can be a roller coaster, with unexpected twists and turns. But when things go wrong and you enter a freefall, how do you cling to grace in the midst of fear and disappointment? In her new book, The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard(David C Cook/October 1, 2014/ISBN: 978-0781412155/$15.99), Kara Tippetts challenges readers to trade anger for joy in the most challenging moments of life.

Tippetts knows the ordinary days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow . . . and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer. In The Hardest Peace, she doesn’t offer answers for when living is hard but asks us to join her in moving away from fear and control and toward peace and grace. Most of all, she draws upon her faith, in the mundane and the suffering, and who shapes even our pain into beauty.

Within the book’s pages, Tippetts looks back over her life, chronicling her seasons of childhood hurt, love in marriage, heartbreak in ministry work and devastation in illness. She reflects upon the times her faith has brought her through life’s most difficult moments.

“I never expected to be planning my funeral and fighting for my next breath in my 30s,” Tippetts confesses. “I never expected to be sitting on my daughter’s bed with the sinking feeling her mama was going to die of cancer and not of old age. This is my own testimony of what is broken and ugly being made right and redeemed. The brokenness of today causes us to look at hope for tomorrow.”

While her story includes a long battle with cancer, The Hardest Peace holds wisdom for all who have met what Tippetts calls the “hard edges” of life. Whether it’s a marriage you didn’t expect to fall apart, a job you thought you’d never lose or a rebellious child, everyone will come face to face with at least one of these moments.

Growing up in a strict home with a father prone to anger, Tippetts rebelled in her teens, becoming involved in drugs and alcohol. As her journey unfolds in The Hardest Peace, Tippetts challenges each reader to find grace in their own story. “I am not the first to write from the grip of cancer. I am certainly not the first to write on suffering,” she admits. “Many have done so before me with more clarity and understanding. I come to you in these pages as a broken woman, realizing that my brokenness may be my greatest strength – that it may be the greatest strength of us all.”

Tippetts adds that ultimately The Hardest Peace is not a book about trying to “win” at having the hardest story, but about one broken woman who is on the journey to know peace in the midst of hard.

 mundane faithfullnessAbout the author

Kara Tippetts is the wife of one excellent man and the mother of four amazing children. She supports her husband, Jason, as he is planting a church in Colorado Springs. Her story was dramatically changed in 2012 when Kara was first diagnosed with cancer. She has shared honestly the painful journey of walking through suffering and looking for Jesus through her increasingly popular blog, www.mundanefaithfulness.com.

In September of 2013 her diagnosis changed, as more cancer was found in her reproductive system and brain. She lives for the graces of time, time with loved ones, time spent building community and sharing her story of living life in grace. Tippetts continues to maintain her blog where she shares her daily struggle in finding grace in all areas of life, not only in her journey with cancer.

Visit Kara Tippetts online home at www.mundanefaithfulness.com, become a fan on Facebook (mundanefaithfulness) or follow her on Twitter (@mother_to_many).