'Bigger than cancer': Inspirational Philip Shanks dies at 21

In the face of death, Philip Shanks decided to live as big as he could for as long as his body would allow it.

Philip Shanks (contributed)

The 21-year-old

His sister  announced his death on Facebook:

He had been fighting n

He learned in August that it had

Philip first allowed us to share his story in January.

He was resilient.

Contributed photo from Philip Shanks


When I caught up with him a few weeks ago, he said he was blown away by the community's response to his story and the number of people who said they were able to see their own situations differently due to his fight.

He said his phone "would not stop blowing up" and he had to put his phone on airplane mode because the situation, a first, was so overwhelming.

Philip said he was happy his story helped others.

"It is just crazy the amount of people that were able to connect with it," he said. "It's been so many people.  The stories are so crazy. I just cannot believe so many people have been able to open up to me."

Philip said he realized he was toward the end of his life and only felt bad for the family and friends who loved him so.

Sick and tired, he recently returned to Dayton from Florida, where he had been staying with a brother.

He told me about some of the fun he had been having and how glad he was that he truly lived life fully. He traveled, had fun with friends, and even got a hug from his idol Beyonce.

He reflected on learning the seriousness of his situation.


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