Shobhana exudes a passion for life that is not often associated with her young age. She loves traveling, reading, and eating vegetarian or Indian cuisine. Whether it’s yoga or hiking, Shobhana does it all, but she especially loves to play the piano.
Everything shifted for Shobhana, of Naperville, when she was diagnosed with hodgkin lymphoma. Diagnosed in 2014, her illness restricted many of her daily activities; she was no longer able to drive, exercise and most importantly—Shobhana wasn’t able to play the piano because her hands were so weak from treatment. For someone as outgoing and goal-oriented as Shobhana, she felt hopeless.
“When I was sick, it felt like I wasn’t going to be able to do anything again,” Shobhana explained. “It took a long time just to feel normal again.”
While at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, Shobhana was recommended to Make-A-Wish and her wish journey began. Shobhana, her sibling and parents set their sights towards Peru. Shobhana had always been interested in Peru, its hiking scene and the beautiful landscapes. Peru was the break her family didn’t even know they needed until they were able to relax. Shobhana and her family did everything from hiking on the side of mountains during the day to swimming in the hot springs of Lake Titicaca in the evening. Shobhana enjoyed basking in the culture of the islands and exploring old ancient ruins.
“I was relaxed. Everybody was so nice to us. We felt taken care of and I didn’t have to think about anything, but having fun,” said Shobhana. “It felt good to have people care for me like that, I never felt so loved in my life!”
Now 20, you can find Shobhana in the library studying chemistry at the University of Michigan. Shobhana’s passion for life has only strengthened. She still plays the piano, but now the music sounds a bit more tranquil because she's happier, healthier and overcoming what she once thought was impossible.