Townsville grandmother Marj Lawrence 79 has terminal pancreatic cancer and is calling for legalised euthanasia. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Townsville grandmother Marj Lawrence 79 has terminal pancreatic cancer and is calling for legalised euthanasia. Picture: Zak Simmonds Zak Simmonds

Terminally ill yet terminally positive

THERE are some conversations which stick with you no matter how much time goes by.

My conversation with Marjorie Lawrence was one of them.

This week I spent much of my time investigating voluntary euthanasia and finding out what people thought about a bill not being put forward for consideration in Queensland after New South Wales and Victoria did so last week.

After getting in touch with pro-voluntary euthanasia group Dying with Dignity Queensland, I was put in contact with 80-year-old Marj from Townsville who had her own personal reasoning for her wish to see the right to die legalised.

Four years ago, Marj was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and was told she had a matter of months to live. I didn't know what to expect when I picked up the phone to call Marj, but I didn't expect to be so touched by her words.

Marj doesn't fear death.

She doesn't fear what happens after death.

The only thing Marj was desperate to avoid was a painful death and thus, wished to be able to decide when and how she would die.

Which is why she is a committee member of Dying with Dignity Queensland and is pushing for voluntary euthanasia to be legalised.

She shared the stories of her family members who had passed away from tragic illnesses and left this earth in a way she described as undignified and horrendous.

To say I was moved would be an understatement.

Marj gave me a completely different perspective on death and her complete acceptance of her fate gave me a sense of calm.

Despite everything life has thrown at her, she remains positive and lives life to the absolute fullest.

Marj, your strength is inspirational.



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