Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Finding Peace for Shaina

My beautiful baby sister, my best friend, my other half, Shaina. She was the strongest person I will ever know. Her strength, intellect, and fierce determination touched each and every person she met. After three liver transplants, countless complications, and 29 beautiful years, Shaina passed away today at three o'clock this afternoon. She went peacefully, with no needles or tubes poking and prodding her, in the arms of her family. Shaina fought till the bitter end, but today, her body finally had enough.

We are thankful for the love and support of our family and all of our friends... everyone who has supported Shaina and our family over the course of her battle. And especially to our second family, all of her fellow transplant recipients and the incredible nurses, doctors, and staff at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Shaina would not have had the last 10 years without your support, care, and friendships. Thank you for giving us that precious extra time with such an inspirational and incredible girl.

Shaina was a fighter above all else. Defeating countless odds time and time again, she fought tirelessly for the thing she loved most of all - being alive. Shaina loved life more than anyone I know. She faced darkness and death so many times that she knew all too well how precious each moment of her life was. She laughed and loved deeply, wrote passionately, spent extravagantly, argued way too dramatically, and inspired everyone she met. She lived every healthy moment to its fullest. The fire that burned in her was both evident and contagious.

A piece of me has been ripped out today, but I am at peace knowing that Shaina will not face any more pain and suffering. I hope I can live the rest of my life honoring my beautiful sister by living a life full of passion, never taking one second for granted. And I hope this is what you will take from your time with her as well. It's what Shaina wanted to share with the world.

We are making plans to bring Shaina home to Charlotte, North Carolina to be laid to rest. These are her wishes, and I hope that each of you will join us in person or in spirit. I will post arrangements once they are finalized. From Shaina and our family, we truly love you all. This Thanksgiving, let us be thankful for our friends and family, and the beauty that Shaina brought to each of our lives.


  1. Thank you for taking the time to post during this difficult time. Our family has faced the same plight with our son, Daniel, Shaina's friend. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with your family, and if there is anything you need, we are here for you all. Please let your mom Joan know that we feel her pain and we are mourning alongside her. Much love from the Scott & Esquivel family.

  2. To a wonderful woman, who was whole-heartedly supported by Family I knew, and friends and doctors I did not. Shaina's lust for life is something that does not pass you by, it sticks as a reminder of what us privileged may waste or overlook.

  3. Thank you for that moving portrait of Shaina.She was an extraordinary individual, her courage alone should be an inspiration to all.

    She was part of an extraordinary family,each one of you as caring, loving, and courageous as could ever be expected.

    We are with you in spirit- Joan, Jeff, Alina, David, Nobi,Deborah, Patty and Amy.

    Shaina is finally at peace, and you should all be proud in knowing that the love and support that you provided for Shaina over the last ten years enriched not only her life, but yours as well.

    With all our love,

    Debrah and Joel

  4. My heart goes out to you and the whole family. Thank you for sharing this with all of us during this unbelievably challenging time.

    Both you and your sister have an amazing use of words which have helped all of us understand more about how you are doing - not just her illness.

    My heart and thoughts are with you,