Chaiya Drabkin was a cancer survivor. Although it was decreed that she be taken in the end, emotionally she never succumbed to her illness. Instead, she took it on as a challenge, one that she passed with flying colors – yellow and blue, to be exact. These were the colors of her unique business cards, which she handed out freely in the chemo ward where she received treatment. Listed on this “business card,” against a backdrop of light blue with a cheerful yellow sun on the side, were her phone number and email address, inviting other patients – regardless of ethnicity or religion – to contact her for support. And that, concur all who knew and loved her, was typical Chaiya.
As the stories and memories emerge, I begin to realize how pathetic it is to try and encapsulate such a tremendous person in a short magazine article. Yet for Chaiya, a”h, there was nothing too small and nothing too large: every challenge, every situation, was an opportunity to give and grow. And it is with that approach in mind that I attempt to provide a glimpse of this one-of-a-kind woman.