Over the course of the next two episodes you’ll hear two very different stories about two very different lives. 70-year-old Laurel and 36-year-old Jessie had no connection in life, but they both had progressive, incurable diseases that steadily robbed them of independence and quality of life.
They both also lived in Calgary, and that meant they had access to Alberta Health Care’s Medical Assistance in Dying program, also known as MAiD. Both women, whose lives traveled such different arcs, chose to use MAID.
Today you’ll hear Ryan Leslie tell his mom’s story. Ryan is an on-air NHL host for Sportsnet and on Hockey Night in Canada. His mom, Laurel, who had the chronic lung disease COPD, died in September 2021. Going through the experience of MAID left an indelible impact on Ryan, Laurel’s only child.
Then, in two weeks, Heather Lucier talks about her daughter, Jessie Ravnsborg, who died in November 2019 at the much-too-young age of 36. Heather’s story is, of course, different than Ryan’s. Jessie’s death was out of order. Children are supposed to bury their parents, not the other way around. About 18 months before Jessie died, she was diagnosed with ALS. As is so often the case for ALS patients, Jessie’s deterioration was swift. So, too, was her decision to wring all the love and goodness out of the days she had left and, then, when her quality of life diminished beyond the point when moments of happiness could pierce through the darkness of her disease, she would use MAID.Support the show