Nabil was born in Pittsfield, MA on July 21, 1973, the first child of Ted and Laufey Bustany. The family soon moved to Morristown, New Jersey, where he grew up along with his sister, Christine.
In the family, Nabil could be depended on for his humor and playful competitiveness. His sweetness too was palpable, yet he was no pushover. These qualities would continue to be apparent in Nabil’s character throughout his life.
After graduating from Delbarton School in Morristown, he went on to the Engineering School at Cornell University. In his senior year at Cornell, at the age of 21, he was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare type of soft tissue sarcoma that occurs mostly in young adults. He took a few months off for his treatment, and still received his mechanical engineering degree without delay in 1995.
After his initial diagnosis, Nabil faced and fought five recurrences of synovial sarcoma. This he did with grace and dignity, without compromising his quality of life and his pursuit of happiness, for himself and for the ones he loved. After graduating from Cornell, he worked for four years at Andersen Consulting. He then went on to earn his graduate degree at the Stern School of Business at New York University. It was during his studies at NYU that he won the love of his wife, Asu.
Nabil adored music, for example. He would spend hours playing his keyboard or tinkering with his guitar. His friends and family could always rely on him for a recommendation, especially his sister, Christine, who was the beneficiary of many of her brother’s good taste and knowledge of the best new music.
He also liked art, and had a keen eye for beauty. He enjoyed the fine things in life, from his mother, Laufey’s, paintings to a good independent film. He was open to the world and appreciated new experiences, a curiosity and ingenuity learned from his father.
He was also a fan of sports, almost all sports, though he was most devoted to baseball and his hometown Yankees. He also enjoyed a good game, and it was hard to tell who enjoyed winning more—him or Asu, who was a formidable opponent and the number one fan of his witty jokes and easygoing laugh.
Nabil had an interest and affinity for just about everything, but perhaps his most avid passion was traveling. He was always eager to discover new destinations, happy to taste new flavors, and able to blend in with the locals. He touched the lives of many and illuminated everyone. It is a shame that despite his remarkable traveling record, there remain many corners of the world that he longed to see but will be left unvisited. The world will never be the same without him. His untimely departure on August 19, 2006, at the age of 33, leaves a painful void that can't be filled.
However, one hope remains. We hope that with the support of people who want to make a difference, further research in synovial sarcoma will soon make it possible for others to fight this disease with better chances of winning. Nabil would have wished the same for others with all his big, generous heart.