Today, December 31, 2008, my sister, Shirin would have turned 30 years old. I say would have been, because my dearest sister gave her life to meningitis almost 8 years ago. My sister Shirin was full of life, enjoyed life and everything that it came with. She was beautiful and always glowing. She always excelled at everything she did. She loved making new friends, she loved laughing and dancing and she loved Subway sandwiches. I miss her so much. To this date, I can close my eye and remember her when she was 10, sitting in the back seat of my mom's Volvo smiling at me.
My sister, Shirin, was an exceptional person. She achieved so much in such a little time, and we are all so proud of her. After finishing high school inVancouver, she received a scholarship from UBC, but decided to pursue her studies in management at McGillUniversity in Montreal, where a memorial scholarship has been established. She was always on the honors roll. After graduation she started to work at General Motors Corporation in Ontario. She loved her job and was quickly making new friends while keeping the old ones updated on her new life in Ontario.
I was on a short trip to Germany when I heard the news. It still seems like a bad nightmare that I wish I could wake up from. My sister Shirin, who was a young and healthy 22 years old, had just returned to Sudbury from a vacation from the resort town on Cancun in Mexico. She had talked to my parents in Vancouverand had complained about not feeling too well. They suggested to her to visit her doctor, but after two days of trying to reach her, my parents and my little brother received the worst news of their lives. My sister was found in her apartment. Meningitis took her away from us. We later found out that she had indeed visited her doctor, but the doctor had not recognized her symptoms as Meningitis.
Meningitis is a deadly disease and can take precious lives in a matter of few hours. Survivors of Meningitis can also have lifelong medical issues such as blindness and paralysis. There are several safe and very effective vaccines to protect against major causes of bacterial meningitis. It is critical to understand the symptoms of this disease so that medical assistance can be provided immediately, as time is of the essence for treatment.
We miss Shirin every single second of every day. We love you Shirin.