Patrícia Nascimento Shapiro, born and raised in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, passed peacefully at home on February 28th in Westport, CT with her beloved boys Andre and Alex, her husband Ken who loved her more than anything and her amazingly close family from Brazil, her mother Gislene, her brother Jose and her sisters, Jussara and Claudia.
To plant a memorial tree in honor of Patricia Shapiro, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
After battling early-onset (before 50 years old) colorectal cancer, diagnosed at just 47, for close to three and a half years Patrícia tried for one final chance at conquering this beast of a disease and her body finally told us it could fight no more. Throughout Patricia's battle her family demonstrated what family is all about by sacrificing time with their own loved ones in Brazil to live here with us virtually the whole time.
Patrícia did literally every medical, naturopathic and spiritual thing possible to try and overcome this so she could be here for longer with her two boys, who were absolutely everything to her. She was always so proud of Alex for his incredible focus, drive, determination and sensitivity and loved to say how she saw him rounding the corner of adolescence into being a wonderful young man. Andre was her teddy bear, or "ursinho", and she loved and marveled at his sense of humor, loving nature, endless curiosity and the empathy he has for all.
Patricia's strength was only rivaled by her faith, positive attitude and sense of humor. She never once asked "why me", always focused on comforting others and found the good in every moment with which she was blessed.
She and her beloved husband "Kenny", her "honey eyes", lived a lifetime in twenty-four of the best and most magical years anyone could ever wish for. They met entering a salsa bar, on her third day in New York after arriving from Brazil, and even though neither spoke the other's language, it was love at first sight and they were inseparable from that day until her last second on earth.
They raised their boys in the wonderful town of Westport where they made an incredible group of friends who were like family. While all of our sadness is profound beyond words, please all know how much Patrícia loved all of you so deeply and how blessed and grateful we all feel for how you helped our entire family to navigate our journey.
Patrícia spread a joy for living to all who knew her. Patricia was known for her kind heart, free spirit, vivaciousness, great sense of humor (even though she always insisted she isn't a funny person), her lack of filter and penchant for always saying the thing everyone else was thinking but nobody had the courage to say. Her big personality left a mark on all who came in touch with her and warm memories of her will keep her alive in all our hearts.
Her Catholic faith was at her core and when facing the challenges of her illness she always said she can't have fear because she has faith and the two can't coexist. She relished in being a religious education teacher at Assumption Church and was very proud when local parents saw her in the street and thanked her for sharing her faith with their children which strengthened their faith in the process. She found her calling through her illness, to get a Masters in a Religion so she could become a Chaplain at Memorial Sloan Kettering, to help others as she had been helped by the spiritual figures who spent time with her daily whenever she was in-patient.
Unfortunately, God had other plans and called Patrícia prematurely to help Him from above. She will be missed so profoundly here on earth by all those who knew her. May she Rest In Peace and knowing how faithful and good she was I know she is in a better place.
In the effort to raise awareness we want to make sure all reading this know that if you are 45 (or if a parent has colorectal cancer then at least ten years prior to their age of diagnosis) you MUST get a colonoscopy as the incidence of early-onset colorectal cancer has risen dramatically. The best way not to die from this cancer is to catch it early as the success rate of treating it early is close to 100% whereas when caught late it is virtually impossible to beat.
In lieu of flowers we would like our difficult experience to help others avoid our family's fate. Please see the link below to our combined giving fund through which we will donate to organizations, medical institutions and awareness groups that supported us through this journey.
The "Patrícia Fund to Help Others" at:
We would like to particularly thank Drs. Milsom, Jaeger, Cercek, Diaz, Shah, Lenz, Giannakis, Kurzrock, Kato and too many others to list for doing everything in their power to help us have a better outcome