Shalin Shah Doesn’t Have Long to Live but He Knows How to Live
Shalin Shah is 22 years old, born and raised in South California. Just after he finished college and joined the Peace Corps in Peru for training he fell extremely ill and had a terrible pain in his ribs. A CT scan confirmed a 6 inch mass in his chest cavity. Shalin was diagnosed with stage IV synovial sarcoma with brain, lung and spinal cord metastasis, an extremely rare and aggressive cancer. This was last August. A young man with abundant dreams and a loving family was suddenly told that his days are numbered. That he wouldn’t live long enough to actually watch his dreams turn into a reality and would leave way earlier than that. He has about 6-8 months to live now and is currently in a hospital in California. Most of us expect him to be sad and teary all day, but Shalin’s attitude towards his cancer will change your outlook towards life forever. Shalin shared his reflection with Huffington Post and we bring you exclusive excerpts of what he wants to say to the world.
Most people who I share my story with react the same way: “that’s so sad” or “but you’re so young, you still have so much more life ahead of you” or “I’m so sorry, this is so unfair.” And at first — yes, I thought so too. I thought my cancer was the most unfair trick life could play on me.
For the first five minutes I was sobbing uncontrollably as I had imagined, but then suddenly an overwhelming calm swept over me.
Instead of worrying if I was going to live or die, this terminal prognosis simplified the equation for me. After all, I have no idea why I even feared death so much before.
This is no tragedy, I don’t even think it is sad in the slightest way to be honest. I’ve been so blessed in my life. I’ve lived in Paris, served the Peace Corps in Peru, fallen madly in love with the most amazing girl, have the most incredible family and friends anyone could ever ask for… and the list just goes on.
I want to share my experience of realizing how beautiful the gift of life truly is in the hopes that it can inspire others who are going through tough times to appreciate the positive in life a little more.
Shalin just wants all of us to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. As a part of his legacy, just spare a moment and watch the sunset and thank the simple pleasures of life that you can enjoy. Take pictures tag your friends and hashtag #SunsetsForShalin
Shalin is the live example of what John Green’s Hazel Grace said, “You gave me infinity within the numbered days.”
Image courtesy Frances Chen and Brandon Cho & Kevin Dinh
You can read Shalin Shah’s complete Story Here