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The Legacy of Shalin Shah


Shalin was born on July 13th, 1992 and raised in Southern California. 


Since his childhood, Shalin fostered great curiosity, love and passion towards life. Shalin loved his friends and family dearly and was always looking to help others. Love and family were of the utmost importance to Shalin and he made it a priority to regularly spend time with his loved ones. He had this amazing ability to connect with people across generations and from all walks of life. He fell deeply in love and married his high-school sweetheart Frances. Shalin had a genuinely close relationship with his parents. He also loved children and spent many hours playing with his niece and nephews creating habitats for rolly pollies in the backyard or building car ramps from Magnatiles.


His compassion and kindness knew no limits. Shalin was incredibly passionate about music and he loved to sing. He was also deeply interested in philosophy and space. Shalin lived his life to the very fullest. He loved to travel, learn about new cultures and history, cook delicious meals and explore the world. Shalin was fascinated by the universe and space. He enjoyed everything from fast cars and fashion to nature, star gazing and watching the sunset.


Shalin constantly sought out new knowledge and loved to discover new subjects - as shown through his great enthusiasm for Wikipedia. However, Shalin was never complacent with the knowledge he gained. He was always active in understanding and practicing all that he believed to be true and he held such values close to his heart. From his interest in philosophy, Shalin set out to define the meaning of his life, practice his Truth and live a purposeful and happy life free from society's pressure.

"I want to flourish rather than exist, to thrive rather than to get by 

- to love another with all my heart, to laugh uncontrollably, to not worry

about the small things, to relax and have fun, to make a difference.”

Shalin was a fiece proponent of living free of internal and external conflicts, acting in accordance with his values and having the courage to do so wholeheartedly. Shalin was always looking to help to less fortunate. During his time at USC, Shalin volunteered with UNICEF, passionately serving as chapter president during his junior and senior year. During football games, he and his fellow club members would be outside the stadium selling water bottles rather than enjoying the game to raise money to provide clean water to children in underdeveloped countries.


After graduating from the University of Southern California, Shalin dedicated his life to service in the Peace Corps as a Community Economic Volunteer. Even in the earliest chapters of his Peace Corps service, Shalin’s passion and dedication won the respect of everyone around him. He was beloved by the community members he met, and deeply respected by his fellow Volunteers, even as he inspired friends and family back at home. Shalin had nearly completed his training as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru when he fell extremely ill with a racking cough, difficulty breathing and intense rib pain. A CT scan found the cause of his suffering was a 6-inch mass in his chest cavity. 



"If the end purpose of man is long-term happiness, I would like to bring

long-term happiness to others.What is important to me is not money, power

or security, but love, knowledge, freedom, family and helping others." 

"I want to  flourish rather than exist, to thrive rather than to get by 

- to love another with all my heart, to laugh uncontrollably, to not worry

about the small things, to relax and have fun, to make a difference.”

- Shalin (2011)

At 22-years old, Shalin was diagnosed with Stage IV synovial sarcoma, an extremely rare and aggressive cancer. Doctors confirmed his terminal prognosis and told Shalin that he had only 6 to 9 months left to live. Despite his tragic circumstances and the immense pain of his treatments, Shalin lived fully and fearlessly throughout his fight against cancer.


While undergoing grueling treatment, he remained in close contact with Peace Corps staff and his fellow Volunteers in Peru. From his room in the hospital, he would write to those facing challenges in their service, sharing messages of encouragement and support.


Shalin passed away peacefully in May 2015 after his valiant fight against cancer at the age of 22.


However, his legacy of light and love continues to live on and thrive. Shalin’s final wish was to make a lasting difference in the world in the lives of others. He wished to help as many people as possible achieve long-term happiness in their lives by inspiring others to live their lives to the fullest and pursue happiness regardless of their circumstances. Shalin and his story of strength and positivity has inspired people all around the world to be grateful for everything life has to offer and to appreciate each and every day through the #SunsetsForShalin movement.


“Life is a gift given only once, and I intend to make the most of the gift by realizing true potential to make a difference all while loving my family with all of my heart. What good is living otherwise?”


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