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husband's tribute to 'beautiful brittany'

The heartbroken husband of Brittany Maynard, who decided to take her own life instead of suffering brain cancer, said she was a beautiful person, inside and out.

Dan Diaz said that it was love at first sight when he first met his gorgeous wife in April 2007.

But as they built their relationship, he understood she was "a beautiful person on the inside".

Brittany (29) had terminal brain cancer and decided to end her own life by taking medication prescribed to her by a doctor.

The couple moved to Oregon where it is legal for certain terminally-ill patients to take their own life.

Her mother, Debbie Ziegler (56), and stepfather, Gary Holmes (72), also moved homes so that the brave young lady could access the state's Death with Dignity Act.

Brittany was told in January she had a stage -four malignant brain tumour and had just six months to live.

Following months of research and a failed operation to remove the tumour, Ms Maynard made the decision not to undergo further treatment.

She died in the arms of her family on Sunday.

LOVE

Dan (43) revealed in an interview just before she died that he fell madly in love with the vivacious woman.

"She's just a great person to know; a good person to be around: attractive, energetic and outgoing and just a personality you really get attracted to," he said.

Dan decided to share their love story with People magazine with her blessing three weeks before she died. He was 35 when he met Brittany who was 23-years-old at the time.

"For me, it was meeting the person I fell in love with and that was Brittany," said Dan.

"Jokingly, she would say I'd certainly been single long enough because there was an age difference between us," he said.

"And what's taken me so long, and my answer was, honestly, that I hadn't met the girl for me until Brittany.

"It felt like this is the person for me and the person I want to spend the rest of my life with," he added.

The couple were together for five years before Dan proposed "on bended knee" in May 2012.

The pair went about planning their wedding for that September.

And Dan said that he was blown away by the detail which Brittany cared for in their wedding at the Beltane Ranch in California's wine country on September 29, 2012.

"Our wedding was truly special," Diaz said. "She did so much of the planning, the coordinating and all of that.

"The end result was there were a few moments I caught myself looking around at the location, the friends and family and everyone there and I was like, 'Wow. This is a really beautiful setting.'"

"Friends have told me our wedding was the best wedding they'd ever been to," he added.

Poignantly, the couple took waltz lessons together to prepare for their first dance together.

"I was the one in need of lessons," he said. "Brittany had it down just fine."

They danced to Nat King Cole's L-O-V-E, chosen because it "fit the tempo" of their dance routine, he said.

Brittany wanted adventure on their honeymoon and Dan said that she pushed him to explore more than he had ever imagined.

"When I said, 'What do you want to do for the honeymoon?' and she said, 'Patagonia,' at first glance, I was like, 'What's that going to be like?'" he said.

The trip turned out to be idyllic, he said.

"It was the best of both worlds," Diaz said. "We'd go out to glaciers, go see nature, go for a hike and then come back and get pampered.

"I guess most people on their honeymoon, they're probably sitting poolside but it was neat. It was an adventure."

On October 6, Brittany launched a campaign with Compassion & Choices, an end-of-life choice advocacy organisation in the US, to fight for access to the law.

hnews@herald.ie


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