“Were you scared?” She carefully asked, acutely aware of the high probability that I’d say yes.

“Yes, of course. It was the uncertainty of everything… but hey, try not to worry. Wait for your results.” I chose my words diligently. When someone confides in you because you’ve had cancer, and they’re asking because they are scared they might have it, every word matters.

Thuy called me shortly after she scheduled an appointment with a doctor to examine a lump in her leg. We’d met only a few weeks prior through mutual friend Phil Galfond, but like anyone who knew her can attest, she was warm and genuine — easy to befriend quickly.

“I’ll try, but I just don’t know what it could be,” she said, with hints of worry layered in her words. Her instincts were right. For the next two years, her health updates were such a rollercoaster, but her positive attitude remained consistent. From chemo, to the hair loss, to the amputation, to the hip replacement, to alternative medicine, she fought.

The aggressive cancer was relentless, selfishly destroying the body of a 25-year-old girl who had limitless potential and an enormous capacity to love, until her final health diagnosis was terminal. Terminal. The word hit like a wrecking ball into a cement wall.

“Are you scared?”

“Sometimes. There are just so many things I want to do.”

I couldn’t believe that such a short time after she’d asked me the same question, I’d be asking her. There’s no doubt that if she had more time in this physical world that she’d continue to touch and inspire people, which she still does even in her passing.

In one of her last blog posts, she wrote that she’d give up everything she owned for just five healthy years to accomplish some of things she wanted to and that nothing is more important than health. If there’s anything to come from her tragic death, it’s the lessons she shared with us about the food we consume, health care, and alternative treatment for cancer.

Life is fragile, and it’s short. Take care of your body and do what you can that’s within your control. Do what you love and spend time with the people who are important to you.

She was a prime example of strength, courage, and beauty.

Rest in peace, Thuy Doan.