Updated as of 1:47 p.m. on May 1 to include information from the memorial gathering to be held on campus.

Elon junior Talia Malinsky died around 5 p.m. on April 29 at the age of 21 surrounded by family. Her mother Irit Malinsky said she died from a recurrence of brain cancer. She has been on leave from Elon since last spring.

The family is currently raising money to transport and bury Talia in Jerusalem. As of May 1, the family was able to raise upward of $17,000 and will be leaving tonight for Israel. 

Talia, raised in an Israeli family, wanted to move to Israel after graduating from Elon — according to her dad Mark Malinsky.

“She asked me, if something happened to her, she wants to be anywhere in Israel,” Mark said. “So we’re doing that request.”

There will be a gathering at 5:30 p.m. on May 3 at the pavilion behind the Sklut Hillel Center. This gathering is for all who want to share and reflect on memories of Talia, according to the email from Jon Dooley, vice president for student life. Friends are invited to stay for Shabbat and dinner afterwards, he wrote. 

According to Irit, Talia was a business major from Westfield, New Jersey.

“There couldn’t have been a more peaceful moment for her to pass. There are no words to describe the loss, but because of your support and kindness weight has been lifted off our shoulders monetarily,” the most recent update on her fundraiser page read on April 30. “On behalf of our family we thank you from the bottom of our heart for your support. Talia couldn’t have asked for better friends, thank you again to everyone who helped our family along the way.” 

Her brother also traveled from Israel to be with Talia; Irit said Talia waited for him before she died.

“It was very serene. She saw her brother, she saw me and my husband. We spend time with the beautiful nurse also, outside, all outside,” Irit said. “Just before we return to the hospital, guess what? She smiled to us, opened her eyes and gone. I'm telling you. I'm telling you this is unbelievable.”

Irit said Talia had many spiritual revelations after being diagnosed with an incurable disease in March.

“None of us will be the same after having an experience of angelic presence of Talia,” Irit said. “Being in her presence was a spiritual experience. Our heart is broken for all.”

Talia loved nature, her family’s dogs and sports, Irit said. In addition to playing guitar and saxophone, Talia also played hockey and participated in synchronized swimming. Talia loved Elon and missed it when she had to be away after receiving her diagnosis. 

“She liked the atmosphere, she liked the culture, she loved everything about Elon,” Irit said. 

According to Irit, Talia was always grateful to her family. So much so that she was majoring in business to help her family with their business, PureheART, which Irit created to empower special needs students with art.

“Never complained. Always, ‘What do you need? How can I help?’ That’s the kind of girl she was,” Irit said. “May she rest in peace and God will use her as an angel to help this humanity because we need a lot of people like Talia.”

Even after she was diagnosed with brain cancer, Talia thanked God.

“Even for the bad stuff she said thank you,” Irit said. “That’s the kind of girl she was.”

For resources, students, faculty and staff can contact the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life at 336-278-7729, staff with Student Care and Outreach in the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200 or counselors from Counseling Services at 336-278-7280. 

Students can access 24/7 resources from the crisis counselor on-call at 336-278-2222, TalkNow from TimelyCare or Student Life administrator on-call through Campus Safety and Police at 336-278-5555. Faculty and staff may also utilize Elon Work-Life Resources for support.