Shawn Kuykendall never wanted to take it slow, so he led an amazingly active and fulfilling life — one that was cut way too short.
He played soccer at American University, and played so well that he landed spots with two Major League Soccer teams, including D.C. United. He followed that up as a coach, one that brought the sport to youth and helped them learn.
Then, sadly, he took on his biggest challenge: a public battle against cancer. It was a rare cancer, something nobody saw coming because of how great of shape he was in.
Even in the face of a losing battle, Shawn still documented portions of his cancer battle on his Instagram account. It took courage to do so, but it also helped him reach plenty of people — people who might be going through something similar.
In the end, the incurable thymic cancer was too much to handle, sadly, and after 8 months of rigorous fighting, Shawn died at 32-years-old on Wednesday morning.
Shawn was an undersized midfielder who 'relied on his left foot and high soccer IQ to overcome physical limitations.' He didn't take the easy route, and we're glad that he lived his life to the fullest even without knowing he would've needed to.
The soccer community also rallied around him, wearing t-shirts during warm-ups in support, all hashtagged with #kuykenstrong. Coaches at American even shaved their heads in a symbol of solidarity.
We are so sad to learn of his passing, and want nothing more than for his family, friends, and teammates to be okay.
[Image via Instagram.]
Tags: american, cancer, dies, health, instagram, r.i.p., sad sad, shawn kuykendall, soccer, sports