With great sadness, we share Pamela’s story again and endeavor to honor her memory in moving forward. Pamela met life head-on, with an infectious smile and the goal of having the option of Medical Aid in Dying at the end of her life. Though she knew that our effort was more of a marathon than a sprint, I wish she had had the opportunity to testify before the Ohio legislature in support of a law for which she so passionately wished. Here is a link to her obituary. We are humbled to be the recipients of donations in her memory.  In 2018, Pamela was interviewed by Ted Hart on NBC tv4 in Columbus. She ended by saying, “If I can help move this forward in Ohio, then my life has had some meaning – and maybe my death. Isn’t that what we all hope for?”
Lisa Vigil Schattinger, October 13, 2020

Pamela Gredicak, from the Columbus area, has shared her story on Death with Dignity National Center’s website. We reprint it here with permission.
December 29, 2017

Pamela GredicakI was first diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease while working as a school administrator in 2001 and then diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2009. I am pursuing all treatment options available to me.

My goal is to live long enough to outlive my parents because I worry that my death would literally kill my father. I don’t want my mother to have to bury one of her children.

My husband, Stephen, has been with me through every stage of my illnesses: the side effects, surgeries, and numerous hospitalizations. He and I have had discussions about how he can go on with his life when I’m gone. I want him to be settled in our new home, I don’t want him to have to sit and watch me die slowly in agonizing pain.

Stephen and I love to travel. We have been on many cruises, and share a passion for adventure and different cultures. Las Vegas is our playground as we both love to gamble. We had planned a lengthy trip to the far east, but had to cancel it when my cancer returned.

Living Life Until the End

I don’t want to stop what I’ve been doing; I still have so much left to do. I want to live my life until I can’t for another moment. I want quality for as long as I can have it and then I want to stop putting the people I love through this pain.

I will do anything I can to share this important message with the world: that it is as important to choose the way we die as it is to choose the way we live.

I don’t believe there are many who would choose to struggle through those last horrible days, weeks or months while our loved ones feel obligated to visit us in places that feel and smell like death. I want my husband to not be so scarred by my death that he can’t go on living. These are some of the reasons that the Death with Dignity law is so very important to me.

Pamela Gredicak Hot Air Balloon
Steve and Pamela Gredicak enjoyed a hot air balloon ride near Las Vegas in 2017. Steve arranged it as a surprise.

Control over Death

Opponents believe that it’s the depressed and weary who are convinced Death with Dignity is the only option. That’s not the case for me. I have been in control of the way I lead my life, as much as I am allowed by my illnesses. I believe I should have control over my death.

The work Death with Dignity advocates do is difficult, often frustrating, and yet so very important. I feel compelled to help in any way that I can, while I still can, which is the reason I’m sharing my story. It is my hope that my story will help to promote change in the laws that limit options on dying with our dignity intact.

4 Responses

  1. I really think it is time ohio passed this law for the right to die with dignity. my husband spent 5 yrs dying from emphysema. I watch and cared for him. watching him go from almost 200lbs to 88lbs. it was not fair to him and everyone who loved him so much

  2. I was part of a support group that Pamela Gredicak was a long time member, she was a wonderful writer and a great contribution of information on the care of loved ones with dementia. I only knew her for a little over a year .Yet, she made a difference in my life and I valued her input. Rest in peace Pamela you will be greatly misse

  3. I have been on caregivers group for many years and it was wonderful when Pamela joined us. She had so much to offer us. We were there as she shared her health issues, hospitalizations. Most of all, we followed the building of the house and hopes it would be a happy place for Steven and his cat. Her worries about her parents and her trips there as her health was so bad she shouldn’t have gone. I can see why she worried about her parents and hope brothers come through with as much caring as she did. I send my love and admiration for her caregiver, her wonderful husband.

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