4 Terminally Ill Women Share How They're Living While Dying

When most of us think about the future, we do it pretty freely — Where will I be in five years? What will my children look like? What stories will I tell my grandkids? We're confident that we'll get to see certain landmark moments in our lives. But there are those in their 30s, 20s, or even younger, whose terminal diagnoses have seriously diminished their chances for reaching all of those milestones, at least in the same way that others do. When we hear these stories, we tend to think of the unfairness of it all.

That's where My Last Days, an award-winning web series created by Jane The Virgin star Justin Baldoni, comes in. The show aims to help us see past the unfairness of a terminal diagnosis to the real people living with one. The series made its television debut last night on The CW. Each episode follows one person living with a terminal illness. The series will continue tonight and Friday night. Then, the entire series will be available to stream online.

In anticipation of the show's TV debut, we spoke with four of the women featured. Kat Lazo, Isabel Bueso, Jess Oldwyn, and Claire Wineland each live with different illnesses that touch their lives in different ways, but all of their stories reflect a shared desire to live loudly and happily in the time they have.

They hope to send a wake-up call to viewers by sharing their experiences. Wineland told us that otherwise-healthy people are "wrong in thinking that if your life is shorter than others’, that means it’s less than or less important. From where I’m standing, the length of one’s life has very little to do with its impact and with its quality."

It isn't the length of your life that counts for the most — what matters is how you live it.

Ahead, Lazo, Bueso, Oldwyn, and Wineland share their stories. After getting to know them, you can donate to their causes, here.

Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

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