The argument for assisted suicide and euthanasia is that the patients have suffered enough. It is wrong to expect them to continue to suffer while their friends and family stand by and watch them in pain. They believe that they should have an easy way out, hence the Death with Dignity Act. However, one woman names Esther proved that every moment of life is worth living.
At the start of college, Esther had it all
In Aumsville, Oregon, about to head off to college, Esther Suelzle was at the prime of her life. Oldest of seven children, she had always been competitive and athletic. With a love for dancing, gymnastics, and volleyball she tried to do it all. Even as a toddler, she was capable of climbing up cabinet drawers to reach the bathroom sink to brush her teeth. Her motto was “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” “No excuses.” “If I want to WIN, I will work harder.” She received a scholarship to Corban University to play volleyball. Esther believed she had it all and for a time she became distant with God.
At 19, Esther was diagnosed with Stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma
Just two months into college, Esther’s back unexpectedly gave out. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, a deadly soft tissue cancer. At that moment, Esther’s life changed for the better. Her parents recalled that they were shocked and confused while Esther calmly shook the doctor’s hands and expressed her thanks at the doctor’s honesty.
For the next 2 years, Esther made the most of the time she was given
Over the course of the next two years, Esther fought cancer while enjoying every moment of her life. While she did question God why this had happened, she never again questioned her faith in Him. Even when her boyfriend broke up with her and she slowly began to lose her battle. “God took away everything that was important to me,” Esther said. “He took away my ability to play volleyball, work out, go to school, and my hair. All I have left is God, my family, and my friends. And I’ve never been better.”
For a moment Esther’s family thought she had won the battle
There was a moment of remission. Esther’s family thought she had beat cancer. It was during this time that she met her future husband. Jacob Ybarra was a track and field athlete at Corban. He asked her out for Valentine’s Day. At that time, Esther was completely balled and guarded herself against Jacob’s affections for her. “She was a scared girl with a really, really strong shell,” Jacob said. “She acted like she was real tough and can do everything by herself, but she really needed help.” Soon after, the two fell in love and were engaged to be married.
Soon after their engagement, Esther received tragic news
Esther found out that new cancer had formed and grown in her
lungs. Her time left on earth was limited. Wanting to spend as much time together as possible, the couple wed in October 2016. From there, Esther continued to make the most of her time, despite slowly dying. Unexpectedly, she became pregnant but three months later hemorrhaged and gave birth to their stillborn son, Thaddeus. Soon after, cancer treatments no longer worked. Esther grew worse and struggled to breathe. Her husband continued to love and support her. As Oregon had legalized assisted suicide in 1997, Esther did have that option but she refused, giving her life over fully to God.
She spent her time singing and bringing joy to others in the hospital. One of her favorite hymns to sing was “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”. She used every chance she got as an opportunity to speak with others about the love of Jesus. “They were concerned about saving her life, but she was trying to save their souls,” Jacob explained. She touched the lives of everyone around her and inspired her friends and family. On July 24, 2017, she passed away in the presence of her family and friends. Last month, a “Celebration of Life” was held to celebrate Esther’s honor. Six hundred people gave thanks and praise to God for her life and death. Many gave testimony of the joy and faith they experienced by knowing the woman who truly “died with dignity.”
Do you think that Esther died with dignity? Let us know in the comments below!