'Every Single Day Is a Gift:' Marine Thankful He Wasn't Offered Euthanasia after Brain Tumor Diagnosis
Fr. Mark Hodges : Oct 11, 2017
"How can we let our life-and-death decisions rest on these prognoses, when even the most experienced doctors are often wrong?"
(New York)—[LifeSiteNews.com] U.S. Marine Corps veteran J.J. Hanson fought in Iraq but never faced an opponent as fierce as cancer. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps veteran J.J. Hanson/via LifeSiteNews.com)
Hanson lived an idyllic life. After successfully graduating from college with a degree in political science and public service, he served his country in Iraq. He and his beautiful wife Kristen had a healthy and energetic son. Then tragedy struck.
On May 13, 2014, Hanson was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an inoperable malignant brain tumor. "Three different doctors told me there was nothing that they could do," he recounted.
Understandably, Hanson fell into an overwhelming depression. "When I was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer ... I went in an instant from living the American Dream ... to living a nightmare," he confided.
He was told he had only a very short time to live and would probably be dead in four months. He was told he "couldn't beat the disease."
"I'm thankful I don't live in a state like Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal," the former administrative assistant to former New York Gov. David Paterson admitted, because "in that moment of depression, I might have chosen to end my life."
"I could identify with what Brittany Maynard was dealing with," Hanson sympathized with the famous 29-year-old Oregonian who killed herself legally in 2014. "The same disease. Roughly the same age. We both had families," he said. "But I don't agree with what she chose to do."
The two chose polar opposite paths. While Maynard chose to kill herself, Hanson chose to live. "I knew that you didn't have to end your life to die with dignity," he said.
Hanson did live, beyond anyone's expectations. It has now been three years since his terminal diagnosis. He has spent those three years fighting for time with his sons and wife. "Every single part of my day, I spend toward improving my ability to live," he said.
So far, Hanson is winning the battle. "I'm still alive three years after I was told I had only a few months to live," he proclaimed. "There's no sign of cancer within the brain."
Hanson now speaks out against assisted suicide. "How can we let our life-and-death decisions rest on these prognoses, when even the most experienced doctors are often wrong?"...
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