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Sports journalist Limor Shpigel passed away last week at the age of 36 following a two-year battle with cancer..(Photo by: Courtesy)
Saying goodbye to a dear friend and a fellow lover of sport
Limor’s initial diagnosis of stage 4 cancer in the summer of 2014 didn’t give her much of a chance, but you wouldn’t know it had you seen the way she fought the disease.
“So many missed opportunities.”

That was the last thing you wrote to me. Several hours later you collapsed. After three more days, Limor Shpigel passed away.

She was 36 and had battled cancer heroically for over two years. She was the best friend I, or anyone, could have wished for.

Limor was also one of the finest journalists I ever met. The combination of her love for sport and her commitment to the profession were unique.

Limor was writing about her beloved Maccabi Tel Aviv’s struggles in front of goal in her final sentence to me. But she could have just as well been talking about the life she will never live.

Limor fought until the very last moment, insisting all along to live life to the fullest. Less than five days before she was admitted into hospital for the last time, we sat together at Yad Eliyahu Arena to watch Maccabi Tel Aviv face Barcelona in Euroleague action. Maccabi lost, but Limor was just happy to be there. She needed help climbing the stairs, but she still made plans to go and see more games, movies and music concerts in the following weeks.

She never had the opportunity to do so, with the wretched cancer taking her life last Thursday.

Limor loved her job and was determined to do it to the best of her abilities until the very end. Her last job was as an editor and writer for the Israel Hayom sports section, previously working at YNET and The Jerusalem Post Group.

She began her career as a handball reporter and the often overlooked sport always remained dear to her heart. Such was her contribution to the promotion of the sport in Israel that she was afforded the recognition usually reserved for presidents and prime ministers when all of last weekend’s Premier League matches began with a moment of silence in her honor.

Especially close to her heart were female athletes in every sport, with Limor refusing to accept inequality between the genders. She fought for greater coverage of women’s leagues, whether it was basketball, soccer or handball.

I had the privilege of working with Limor for several years. There isn’t a journalist that couldn’t learn from her care for detail and her focus on the big picture.

Limor’s initial diagnosis of stage 4 cancer in the summer of 2014 didn’t give her much of a chance, but you wouldn’t know it had you seen the way she fought the disease. She tried every treatment the doctors suggested despite the horrible side-effects, hoping that maybe she will be the one who beats the odds. If anyone could, it was Limor.

When it became clear that was impossible, she didn’t wave the white flag. Limor battled to live another day each and every day until her time ran out.

She deserved so much better.

She may not have had any real chance of surviving, but Limor did all she could to try and save the lives of others. In her columns and interviews, she continually called on all women to get tested for breast cancer, knowing from her experience that an early diagnosis is a matter of life and death.

Her body finally succumbed after a long and excruciating battle last week. Her soul remained as strong as ever until the final moment though, and now it can finally rest.

Limor had so much more that she wanted to do in life. Those opportunities were all buried with her last Friday.

But for those of us who knew her we can seek some consolation in every moment we experienced in her presence.

Limor, it was an honor and privilege to be your friend. I love you and miss you.
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