Shayan Sakkaria is a 7-year-old cancer survivor, attending White Eagle Elementary School in Naperville. He is also one of the youngest RC helicopter pilots living in Naperville. He has been covered in multiple RC helicopter magazines RC Heli Pilot, Model Aviation and Flying RC.
Shayan Sakkaria has always had good hand-eye coordination and a daredevil spirit. He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer when he was 4 1/2 years old. All of us were in shock. We started his therapy in Peoria St. Jude's and finished at University of Chicago. He went through 6 rounds of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, stem cell transplant and immunotherapy. He was a champ all the way through. He was a fighter who kept his spirits up and was a great guy.
How did Shayan get involved with his remote control flying hobby? Shayan had to spend at least 3 weeks in the hospital per a month at the beginning of his therapy cycle. During this time, he would search for Disney planes movies on YouTube. He came across Flite test team building a RC dusty plane. He kept watching it all the time. He was given a $40 drone which he learned to fly around his hospital room. He got so good at it he amazed his nurses and doctors with the tricks he could do. So, his parents decided to get him a new nano mcx RC Heli. He got good at it and was able to maneuver it into tight spaces. For the next 10 months, he was given a new RC Heli or drone to fly in his hospital room. He was not only good with it, but he got a couple of doctors into the hobby. Even though he had to endure very painful treatments, his passion for this hobby kept him happy and he always anticipated the next one he will get before his next therapy. It was this hobby and his sisters that helped him to forget the pain and live life. He had 18 months of therapy and there were few times that he didn't almost make it. But by God's grace and this hobby helped him put up a great fight. Once he finished his therapy, he started to get larger helis to fly. He started to do SIMulator almost 2-3 hours a day. He learned new skills by watching YouTube and SIM. Finally, his Dad put an ad in Helifreak to find someone to help him to teach 3D flying. Brian Durocher, a young aeronautical engineer, offered to help him to fly. Now Shayan has two IRCHA under his belt. He keeps trying and learning every day. This hobby of his got him through tough times in his life. It also gave him a lot of good friends and motivation to keep moving forward. Look out for more to come from the heliboy, Shayan Sakkaria.