Right to Die activist turns to Cal students for support

BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU) - The effort to raise support for legislation that would allow terminally-ill patients to end their lives in California, headed to the Cal campus Wednesday afternoon.

UC Berkeley hosted a cancer patient from San Mateo who's pushing for the state's aid-in-dying bill.

"It was a very gratifying day, said Jennifer Glass. "It was a subject about which I care passionately."

Glass has been living with advanced lung cancer for two years and has just a 5 percent chance of surviving 5 years.

"Now more than ever I think about quality of life," Glass said.

Earlier this year, Glass posted a video documenting her first year with cancer.

She posed daily, showing her transformation during chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

From an online video about her experiences to speaking publicly about them, Glass hopes it will help persuade California legislators to change state law and give physicians the legal right to help dying people end their lives.

"I think it is very exciting that it has come this far," Glass told KTVU. "I feel very optimistic about the level of support that we've seen."

Glass was at the state capitol when Senate Bill 128 was introduced last month.

It's similar to the Death with Dignity Act in Oregon and four other states.

Dan Diaz of Alamo joined Glass on the stage at Wheeler Hall.

He got emotional talking about his 29-year-old wife Brittany Maynard, who decided to move Oregon so she could end her life.

"Sorry," he told the crowd, fighting back tears. "It's only been a few months."

Together, Diaz and Glass aim to overcome opposition to the right-to-die bill, which includes the Catholic Church and other religious organizations, medical groups and advocates for people with disabilities.

It's an uphill battle Glass is committed to, a right she says that should belong to all terminally-ill patients.

"I will lend my voice wherever and whenever I can, as my health allows," she said.

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