I want to share with you all the story of Shalin Shah’s life. He graduated from college last year but a few months later was diagnosed with stage IV synovial cancer. In February, it was determined that his disease was terminal. Shalin is someone I identify with: almost exactly a year after his graduation, I walked through the same beautiful campus with my friends, celebrating our graduation and our futures. How would I react if I found out that instead of expecting 55+ years ahead of me, I could only expect one? I’d have to completely alter my mentality, and I’d only hope I could do it with as much grace as Shalin did.
It’s frightening that something like cancer could strike any of us without notice, but after reading about Shalin’s experience, I know that we can find purpose in our lives even when our worlds are turned upside down. His message to everyone is to live life to the fullest, and he set a wonderful example for us. One of the things that gives me the most comfort about Shalin’s fight against terminal disease is that he was loved by and loved his long time girlfriend, also an alumna of our university and whom he married last month. I think having loved ones by your side can make such an experience more bearable, though never easy.
I didn’t know Shalin, but his story hits so close to home that it really makes me think about my friends and my boyfriend and how grateful I am to have them in my life and for their health. Now, every time I catch a sunset, I am reminded of Shalin’s request for us all to appreciate our lives and fellow human beings. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, and I will remember you!