Terminally Ill Single Mother From Valencia and ‘Right to Die’ Advocate Christy O’Donnell Dies at 47

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A family photo shows Christy O’Donnell, left, with her daughter Bailey, who is now 21. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

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Christy O’Donnell, a former LAPD sergeant and lawyer whose difficult battle with lung cancer drove her to advocate for California’s new right-to-die law, has died. She was 47.

O’Donnell, a single mother motivated partly by her desire to spare her daughter the trauma of watching her die painfully, was prominent among the activists who campaigned for the bill signed into law last year. It will make it legal for the terminally ill to seek medical aid to die.

Christy O'Donnell, left, discusses her illness with her 20-year-old daughter Bailey sitting beside. O'Donnell is the lead plaintiff suing the state of California for the right to have medical aid in dying. The video was released by Compassion & Choices on May 18, 2015.
Christy O’Donnell, left, discusses her illness with her 20-year-old daughter Bailey sitting beside. O’Donnell is the lead plaintiff suing the state of California for the right to have medical aid in dying. The video was released by Compassion & Choices on May 18, 2015.

She died — as she thought she would — before the law’s anticipated enactment later this year, according to a statement released by the advocacy group Compassion and Choices.

A Valencia resident, O’Donnell continued traveling and giving interviews in support of the bill as her Stage 4 lung cancer spread throughout her body and her illness grew dire.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

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