On Friday, June 28, 2013, the narcolepsy community lost a quiet hero named Sharon Smith. Sharon passed away after fighting a prolonged illness. She served as President of the Board of Trustees of Narcolepsy Network and dedicating her life to supporting the narcolepsy community and volunteering for many research projects towards finding a cure.
It’s hard to explain how someone I only saw a few times a year became family, but Sharon was family. I met her in 2008, at my first Narcolepsy Network conference and she quickly became a friend to me and my family. Sharon was an integral part of my support system – a loyal friend, keen researcher, skilled writer, hard worker, dedicated leader and forever a fighter.
We last corresponded in May, when Sharon emailed me to congratulate me on my book award. She was fighting a courageous health battle of her own, but took the time to send me a positively-spirited message of hope. That was Sharon.
“Sharon always saw the silver lining in everything,” reflected close friend and fellow advocate, Mali Einen, “She was a good friend and I will miss her.”
The entire narcolepsy community will miss Sharon. We are forever indebted to her for her tireless dedication and positive spirit. On behalf of so many, I send my condolences and love to her family and friends.
“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds
the strength to persevere and endure
in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”