Celebrating the Life of Sonal Shahby Representative Leonard Lance
Posted on 2015-12-17
of new jersey
in the house of representatives
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Mr. LANCE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life of Mrs. Sonal
Shah of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, who peacefully passed away in
November after a courageous fight against Amyotrophic Lateral
Sclerosis. Her life and advocacy were an inspiration. Undeterred by her
diagnosis, Sonal lived every day to the fullest and her personal story
was a profile in courage.
I was privileged to know Sonal through her work on raising awareness about ALS and her fight for a cure. She would come to Washington to have meetings on Capitol Hill where she would tell her story, share the latest research and inform policy makers of what she and the ALS community needed in funding for public research and to spur private investment. It was during that time I came to know her wonderful family, including her husband and daughter, who have always been by her side.
Sonal worked tirelessly. She passionately made her case and I was proud to work with her on legislation that will make a positive difference in the lives of many. And that was what was so remarkable about Sonal's fight. Even the most groundbreaking of discoveries would likely have come too late to assist Sonal in her own struggle but she remained committed against the scourge of this disease so that others might have hope. She was a hero in the ALS community and the turnout of love and support at awareness events, at the celebration of her heartfelt book and at laps around the Somerset ball field demonstrated people were compelled by her story.
The fight against this terrible disease was made stronger by having Sonal lead it. She will be missed greatly. I know I will work in Washington with renewed vigor for this cause and will always remember Sonal's strength as we continue to work against ALS.
While we have lost a beloved wife, mother, writer, advocate and friend, let us remember her spirit and perseverance in our own personal struggles and let her determination forever be a source of strength for us all.