[Link] Reddit, help me find some peace I’m dying young

Saw this on red­dit.

http://​​www.red­dit.com/​​r/​​athe­ism/​​com­ments/​​ydsy5/​​red­dit_help_me_find_some_peace_in_dy­ing_young_im/​​

Hey Red­dit,

I’m a 23 year old girl with re­cur­rent Glioblas­toma mul­ti­forme (GBM), a highly ag­gres­sive type of brain can­cer. I posted a cou­ple of months ago ask­ing for sug­ges­tions for things I should try be­fore I die (life ex­pec­tancy is 3-6 months) and got a lot of great ideas (many of which I’ve fulfilled).

At the time of my last post, my treat­ment was un­de­cided. I ended up par­ti­ci­pat­ing in a phase I trial at Dana-Far­ber, but I pro­gressed af­ter two months of treat­ment. There are not many great treat­ment op­tions left for me, but my next move will be five ra­dio­surgery treat­ments at Duke Univer­sity next week. My prog­no­sis looks pretty bleak at this point, and though I am hop­ing to ex­ceed the 6-10 month me­dian sur­vival, I have to pre­pare to die. In a way, I am for­tu­nate be­cause the le­sion is pri­mar­ily in my brain stem (con­trols things like breath­ing), so I will likely die be­fore the tu­mor spreads to the ar­eas cen­tral to who I am.

I’m back on Red­dit again, mostly to ask for help be­cause I want to be cryo­geni­cally pre­served upon my death. I’ve been in­ter­ested in cry­on­ics since long be­fore I was even di­ag­nosed, but I never thought that I would have to se­cure the fi­nances so fast, and with­out a ca­reer or sav­ings to stand on. As weird as it feels to ask for help here, I feel I should just give it a shot and sees what hap­pens.

I caused a lot of fam­ily con­tro­versy last week by break­ing the news to my par­ents. I can tell I’ve alienated them quite a bit as they are Chris­tian and don’t see why I’d want to be pre­served; in their mind, I am go­ing to heaven and my “soul” will for­ever leave my body when I die any­way. I clearly up­set both of them with the im­pli­ca­tion that I was ag­nos­tic (I didn’t say this out­right, but it’s true). My mom is fairly sup­port­ive of my plans to be pre­served, but un­for­tu­nately, my dad isn’t a fan of the idea, and he’s re­ally the only fam­ily I have that could offer fi­nan­cial help (my par­ents are di­vorced and not on good terms). The com­pany I’m look­ing into, Cry­on­ics In­sti­tute, costs $30,000-35,000 with trans­porta­tion to the fa­cil­ity ac­counted for. My boyfriend is fully sup­port­ive, but like me, he’s broke and barely out of col­lege.

I know this is a big thing to ask for, and I’m sure many peo­ple are doubt­ful that preser­va­tion is plau­si­ble with cry­on­ics. I’m far from con­vinced, but I would rather take the chance with preser­va­tion than rot in the ground or get cre­mated. The com­pany I’m look­ing into, Cry­on­ics In­sti­tute, has a good in­tro on their FAQ page that offers a hope­ful out­look on fu­ture tech­nol­ogy: http://​​cry­on­ics.org/​​prod.html

A lot of peo­ple on red­dit wanted to start a fundraiser for me awhile ago to aid in do­ing fun things be­fore I die. I am hop­ing that red­di­tors will still have some in­ter­est in helping me even if it’s not go­ing to­wards va­ca­tion or sky­div­ing and shit like that. Cry­op­reser­va­tion is sincerely what will bring me the most peace in death.

I wish I could give a par­tic­u­larly com­pel­ling rea­son why I de­serve an­other chance at life, but there’s not much to say. I’m still just a kid, and hadn’t even finished col­lege when I was di­ag­nosed. Un­for­tu­nately the most in­ter­est­ing thing I have yet to do is get a ter­mi­nal dis­ease at a young age.

If you guys can help me out, I would be grate­ful to a de­gree I can’t pos­si­bly de­scribe. I’m des­per­ate. If you care to donate to the cause, the link to my blog and fundraiser is HERE. Any­thing, and I mean ANYTHING, you can do to help would be end­lessly ap­pre­ci­ated. If you don’t want to look at my dumb can­cer blog, the di­rect link to the preser­va­tion fund can be found HERE

On a lighter note, I’m open to the idea of trad­ing dona­tions for any­thing you might want in ex­change (within le­gal limits). This could be fun!

Proof can be found on my ear­lier post, but here’s a pic from to­day: http://​​i.imgur.com/​​Qd­kzn.jpg?1

I’m also open to any ques­tions about brain can­cer, or my ra­tio­nale for want­ing to be pre­served.

EDIT:

I want to ex­plain in a lit­tle more de­tail why I think cry­op­reser­va­tion is worth a try. (Even an ex­pen­sive try).

First, I want to make it clear that I’m not bet­ting my life on cry­op­reser­va­tion. I am aware of the prob­lems with the cur­rent state of cry­on­ics, but I have the hope that tech­nol­ogy might come up with a solu­tion in the fu­ture. No one knows what tech­nol­ogy will be available in 50 years. Yes, it takes “faith” in tech­nol­ogy, but it takes faith to as­sume that tech­nol­ogy won’t be suffi­cient to re­verse these prob­lems some­day.

The main point I want to make here is that it’s a bet­ter shot at liv­ing again than if I were de­com­pos­ing some­where or cooked into ash. The rel­a­tive value of even a slight chance at liv­ing again is a huge pay­off for what seems like a lot of money to me now, but prob­a­bly would be an easy de­ci­sion for me if I had a steady job. Com­pare the cost of preser­va­tion to the cost of trav­el­ing over­seas to pur­sue ex­per­i­men­tal treat­ments; I think the cur­rent state of glioblas­toma treat­ment is just as bleak (if not more), but it doesn’t seem so crazy to pur­sue those routes.

I’m try­ing to be pre­served be­cause I’ve done ev­ery­thing else in my power to help me ex­tend my life. I’ve looked at es­sen­tially ev­ery diet, sup­ple­ment, clini­cal trial, and “mir­a­cle treat­ment” out there. This is the last thing I can pos­si­bly do to fight for an­other chance, and if does hap­pen to work, it will be in­cred­ible.

Live again or die try­ing.

EDIT 2: A cool quote

“The cor­rect sci­en­tific an­swer to the ques­tion “Does cry­on­ics work?” is: “The clini­cal tri­als are in progress. Come back in a cen­tury and we’ll give you a re­li­able an­swer.” The rele­vant ques­tion for those of us who don’t ex­pect to sur­vive that long is: “Would I rather be in the con­trol group, or the ex­per­i­men­tal group?” We are forced by cir­cum­stances to an­swer that ques­tion with­out the benefit of know­ing the re­sults of the clini­cal tri­als.”—Dr. Ralph Merkle

TLDR; I want to be cryo­geni­cally pre­served when I die from brain can­cer but can’t af­ford it. I am liter­ally beg­ging for fi­nan­cial help.

I couldn’t help be moved by this. I felt a very strong sense that she is one of us, who­ever “us” is. Look­ing at some of the nega­tive com­ments and worst of all bad ar­gu­ments peo­ple are us­ing as rea­sons not to donate made me more up­set.

I hope some here might join me in dis­man­tling them. I’d also en­courage those like me for who this buys a lot of warm fuzzies to donate. Though it might be wise to wait un­til we hear from CI or some other third party on the mat­ter.

Edit: She has since made a com­ment on LW! The pro­vided in­for­ma­tion has made me pretty much cer­tain that this is a gen­uine plight.

red­di­tors where will­ing to give her money to go sky­div­ing, they don’t want to give her money to buy cry­on­ics. Some­times I can only weep.

I think it pretty clear that pro­mot­ing effi­cient char­ity in that par­tic­u­lar thread is very un­likely to re­sult in peo­ple giv­ing money to bet­ter causes. Also I just plain want her to be re­warded in some small way! Note the part start­ing in the sec­ond para­graph that I bolded, not only did she re­al­ized what she re­ally was, but she stepped over the en­tire set of pro-death ra­tio­nal­iza­tions and faced the so­cial pres­sure peo­ple she loved ex­erted on her be­cause they think she might go to heaven … its not her fault that a few cells in her brain went hay­wire be­fore she could af­ford an in­surance policy, I just don’t want peo­ple like that not hav­ing some­thing to show af­ter get­ting so much stuff right.

2n Edit:

For any­one who just re­al­ized the uni­verse sucks and wishes to do some­thing about that whole peo­ple dy­ing thing, they are wel­come to en­gage in some op­ti­mal death defeat­ing philan­thropy by donat­ing to The Brain Preser­va­tion Prize that has been en­dorsed by both Robin Han­son and Eliezer Yud­kowsky.

I know that there are more than 17 other peo­ple like me in the world, who re­ally want to see the re­sults of these at­tempts. A world in which brains can be cheaply pre­served in­definitely is a world I want to live in—and it would just be sad if this pro­ject fiz­zled be­cause it lacked the funds to ver­ify the already-ex­ist­ing re­sults.