Janvi Shahi recently went on a Paris trip and had a whale of a time. She not only fell in love with
the mesmerizing beauty of the city but also dreamed of working in The City of Love in the future.
“I got to see all the classic sights such as the Eiffel Tower, the louver, and the Arc de Triomphe,
but my favorite was the Monet Museum, and all the pastries,” the 24-year-old from Lower
Greenville shared. “To design in Paris is my dream.”
There’s hardly anyone in the community who doesn’t know Janvi. She’s an influencer who’s
significantly impacted many lives at a young age. She’s an artist, designer, and a social worker.
Janvi is famous for helping Make-A-Wish Foundation raise more than $200,000 through her
paintings. She started painting to get through chemotherapy, and now she paints to help other
kids get through chemo or other treatments.
Her journey of being a real-life superhero started at just 2 when she was diagnosed with acute
lymphoblastic leukemia. Art became an escape when she was going through painful treatments.
“I would select a color and draw a spiral to show my mom and medical staff how I felt that day. If
the pain was tolerable, the color might be bright. But on a bad day, I’d select a dark or dull one,”
“While going through my treatment, I would always watch Disney movies to help pass the time.
And I was a huge, huge Lion King fan, I said. I used to say that I was Simba, my body was the
pride lands, and my cancer was Uncle Scar, that I was trying to defeat.”
When Janvi was four, her parents learned about the Make-A-Wish organization, which fulfills
life-changing wishes for kids with critical illnesses. The nonprofit granted her desire to go to Walt
Disney World. Having an Ariel-themed birthday party, meeting all Disney characters, and
watching The Aristocats during radiation treatment was an amazing experience for her.
After returning to Dallas, Janvi was diagnosed with cancer again. It was a difficult moment for
the whole family. “I remember asking my mom if I would get a second wish. She told me that
Make-A-Wish has a one-wish policy, but she said that now we would be the ones granting
wishes instead,” she shared.
Then she started painting to help other kids’ wishes come true. Janvi has a record of selling an
art piece for $10,000. “Honestly, my paintings are just like anyone else. It’s not the paintings that
make people buy them; it’s the story of why I create them,” she says.
“Whether I raise $10 or $10,000, it will ultimately help some kids and their families get through
their difficult times in the end.”
The year before she headed to college, Janvi was honored to receive the Indomitable Spirit
Award from Make-A-Wish. In the event, she had an opportunity to meet Christopher Greicius’s
mother. Christopher was the first Wish kid who inspired the organization and its mission.
“I invited Christopher’s mother to attend my last Wish Night auction in Dallas before I started
college. I made a heartfelt promise to paint a portrait of her late son for the live auction. To my
surprise, she accepted the invitation, and it turned out to be an emotionally charged and
impactful evening,” Janvi mentioned.
During the auction, the painting of Chris garnered immense attention and support. An
astounding bid of $45,000 was placed for the portrait, and just when they thought the sale was
finalized, another generous individual doubled the offer under the condition that the painting
would be given to Chris’s mother. The picture alone raised a total of $90,000. When
Christopher’s mother received the artwork, she tearfully expressed, “Now, I get one more
chance in my life to tuck Chris in bed.”
Heartfelt stories like this make Janvi unstoppable. Her mom and grandmom taught raised her to
become the strong and independent woman she’s today.
“Kindness and persistence are two most important lessons I’ve learned so far,” she said, “Life is
full of changes, and learning to adapt and embrace them can lead to personal growth and new
Janvi is currently working as a graphic designer at The Integer Group. In her spare time, she
loves cooking, hanging out with friends and her dog, trying out new restaurants, etc.
Janvi is an inspiration to many. She says following your passion is the most important thing you
do for yourself.
“Pursuing activities and careers that align with your passions and interests can bring fulfillment
and a sense of purpose to you and those around you.”