My motivation to volunteer with MAID Family Support Society is quite personal. In April 2020, my mom took advantage of the medically assisted dying program in Switzerland. I moved to Victoria, BC in 2006, and people always get confused by my accent. Prior to moving to Canada, I lived in Germany, England, and Belgium so people are not quite sure where to place me.

I grew up in Germany and the rest of my family still lives there. While medically assisted dying is now legal in Germany, the infrastructure to access it is quite limited.

My mom had suffered a stroke in 2019 and, overnight, went from being completely independent to relying on help for everything as she was paralyzed on the left side of her body. I had to move her into a care home but she was in constant pain. Luckily, she was still able to communicate.

Living a 10-hour plane ride away did not help, but with help of family and friends, I knew that I could always ask for help. Very quickly she asked me to start the process for a medically assisted death. We had a lot of help as COVID-19 did not make travelling internationally easy, but finally, my husband and I were able to accompany my mom on her last journey.

It was a very peaceful experience. She fell asleep with a smile on her face and all I could think of was that she is free and no longer suffering. Due to this experience, I want to help increase the awareness of medically assisted dying and support people with similar experiences.