(NEW YORK) — The husband of death with dignity advocate Brittany Maynard, who ended her life this weekend, said that when he met Maynard he had found “the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.”
Dan Diaz, 43, and Maynard, 29, were married a little more than two years when she died.
Diaz spoke with People.com last month on the finals days of his wife’s life as she struggled with terminal brain cancer. Maynard ended her life Saturday surrounded by her husband and other family members.
Diaz told People.com that when they met in 2007, he was struck by her physical beauty and also “what a beautiful person she was on the inside,” he told People.com.
“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,” Diaz said.
He proposed to Maynard, whose struggle with terminal illness captivated the nation this past month, “on bended knee” in May 2012.
Despite being 14 years older than Maynard, Diaz said he knew marriage was the right choice.
“Jokingly, she would say I’d certainly been single long enough because there was an age difference between us. And, ‘What’s taken me so long?'” Diaz told People.com. “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 married at a ranch in California in September 2012 and went to Patagonia for their honeymoon because Maynard wanted an adventure.
“It was the best of both worlds,” Diaz told People.com. “We’d go out to glaciers, go see nature, go for a hike and then come back and get pampered.”
“So I’d say we really did it right where we had a lot of what she wanted — the outdoors, hiking and trekking and seeing the beautiful sights in nature — but then we’d also come back to the hotel and relax.”
Maynard was diagnosed with brain cancer in January and doctors estimated she had only months to live. She and her family moved to Oregon so she could take advantage of the state’s assisted suicide laws, and Maynard quickly became an advocate for death with dignity. Her plight went viral when she teamed up with the nonprofit Compassion and Choices to fight for new laws and began blogging about her final days, checking off “bucket list” items like a Grand Canyon trip.
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