“As long as a person is happy from the inside, everything in life will be alright.” – Fadi Tabakhna
People usually try to avoid calling cancer by name, but rather refer to it as “that horrible disease,” and think of it as the most terrible thing that can happen to a person. However, this wasn’t the case with Fadi Tabakhna, a 21-year-old Palestinian student who was diagnosed with cancer.
In 2011, Fadi discovered that he had Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer), a disease with a morbidity rate of 1/3 of diagnosed patients. His doctor told him that he had only 9 months to live but that didn’t stop him from keeping his head high. He immediately set out to show everyone that cancer will not stop him from living life to the fullest. He finished school with excellent grades, and afterwards went to Birzeit University, all the while recovering from cancer. Soon after that, his doctor told him that he had successfully survived cancer.
After a while, doctors discovered another tumor endangering his life, lung carcinoma, with less than 50% survival rate. But he knew, like he beat cancer the first time, he was going to beat it a second time. And rightly he did. He stood bravely in the face of cancer with unshakable determination, and he defeated it, twice!
Fadi had a beautiful spirit with an amazing will towards life. His bright smile captured the hearts of all who knew him. He was very devoted to helping others, and made a number of inspirational videos, making his own tragic experience a beacon of hope for others. You can find his videos on YouTube titled شوية إرادة meaning “A Little Will-Power.”
Another video about Fadi recently came out, made by Ajyal Radio Network – ARN. In the video, Fadi’s father, Saleh Tabakhna, describes him and says,
“The special thing about Fadi was his optimism. He turned every depressing situation into one of laughter and happiness, through his positive attitude. I learned a lot about patience and persistence from him.”
“He was exceptional” says his mother, “I’ve never seen anyone like him. Fadi loved to make people happy, despite his own pain and suffering. He always had a smile on his face.”
In the end, it seems as though Death also admired him dearly, and wanted him all to himself. Fadi’s heart stopped beating during a peaceful sleep. Fate embraced Fadi in the third of December 2016. He parted from our world, but his spirit lives on in our hearts, ever reminding us of the inspiration he was. Rest in peace, Fadi.
“Cancer may have taken away much of my body, but it will not take away my strength of will and persistence, all it takes is a little determination ” – Fadi
Don’t forget to leave a smile for Fadi!