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In Memory

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This website is dedicated to the memory of Devaanshi Mehta. I wrote this tribute to her shortly after she passed in 2012 and rarely has there been a day since that I have not given her either a thought or a mention. The only fear I ever heard her express was that she would be forgotten, and my promise to her was that I would not let that happen. She was, and always will be,

an inspiration.

As a teacher, it has been a privilege to work with so many young people over the years….watch them grow, make mistakes, laugh, cry, get angry, get sad, find passion, find each other, find themselves, act like fools and display wisdom beyond their years. Devaanshi crammed more thought and consideration and enthusiasm into her fifteen years than many of us will manage in a much longer lifetime. 

Devaanshi started the Asian Donor Campaign (ADC), a UK-based non-profit organisation whose role is to raise awareness of the need for more Asians to donate their blood, bone marrow and organs. Even though her health was deteriorating drastically she organised many charity fundraising events such as dinners, auctions, cake sales, dance nights and international evenings from her hospital bed. She gave a number of interviews on television, radio and in print. Devaanshi also wrote a blog entitled ‘My story in my words’, where she spoke candidly about her treatment and prognosis. She won the Jack Petchey award for her fundraising and awareness campaigns in 2010 and was nominated for the Justgiving Young Fundraiser of the Year in 2011. She was recognised by the Well Child Foundation as the Most Inspiring Child in the 12-15 age category in 2012. 

When we stop learning, in many respects we stop living. The lessons I spent explaining to Devaanshi the complexities of the water cycle or the reasons why volcanoes erupt pale to nothing compared to the lessons she taught me about life and how precious it truly is. She faced her illness not just with fortitude but with a positivity it is hard to describe. In the bleakest moment she would just smile and pick out a tiny grain of hope. When things in life are bad, somewhere- often hidden - is that glimmer of light that becomes lost in the ‘bigger picture’. And that is the lesson she taught me. 

Devaanshi was no teacher in the making ... the lessons she gave to all who spent time with her were more complete and accomplished than any I could contrive. It was a privilege to be her student. 

Devaanshi Mehta 
18th December 1996 - 28th June 2012

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