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What Almost Dying Taught Her About Living


Suleika Jaouad, an aspiring journalist, harbored dreams of becoming a war correspondent, envisioning a future where she would traverse conflict zones, reporting on the most critical issues of our time. However, life had a different plan for her. At the young age of 22, just as she was preparing to embark on her professional journey, Suleika was diagnosed with leukemia, a turn of events that drastically altered the trajectory of her life.


Faced with this daunting challenge, Suleika's battlefield shifted from war-torn regions to the corridors of hospitals. Her fight was no longer about capturing stories amid chaos, but about surviving a ruthless and personal war against cancer. This unexpected journey, however, did not dampen her journalistic spirit. Instead, it gave her a new story to tell – her own.


Transforming her adversity into an opportunity, Suleika started chronicling her battle with cancer. She began writing a column titled "Life, Interrupted" for The New York Times, where she shared her experiences as a young adult living with cancer. Her writing was raw, honest, and deeply personal, resonating with thousands of readers who found strength and solace in her words.


Suleika's journey through cancer treatment was arduous. She underwent numerous rounds of chemotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant, and faced countless complications.


Yet, through it all, her resolve to write never wavered. Her column not only documented her struggles and triumphs but also shed light on the broader issues faced by young adults with cancer, a group often overlooked in the narrative of the disease.


Her work as a writer during this period was a testament to her resilience and determination. Suleika Jaouad transformed her tragedy into a powerful narrative that educated, inspired, and provided a voice to others undergoing similar battles. In doing so, she may not have become the war correspondent she initially dreamed of, but she became a different kind of warrior – one who fought her battle with words and used her experience to change the conversation around illness and resilience. To learn more about Suleika, visit her website.



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