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Let us introduce you to Suleika Jaouad!

Suleika Jaouad
Suleika Jaouad

The AYA Cancer Program is thrilled to host a conversation with Suleika Jaouad for our 2nd annual lecture. Suleika, who was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 22, will discuss her transition into the “wilderness of survivorship” on Thursday, September 17, 2015 beginning at 5pm in Wolff Auditorium, located at 800 Washington Street in Boston.

Suleika eloquently documented the challenges she encountered after receiving her cancer diagnosis; what began as a personal diary turned into an EMMY-Award winning New York Times Well column. Suleika travels the country speaking at universities, hospitals, professional and corporate events. She is on the advisory board of Critical Mass: The Young Adult Cancer Alliance and has served as a technical advisor on the AYA cancer show, Chasing Life.

To assist you in getting to know Suleika better, here are a few highlights from her column:

Having a life-threatening disease in your 20s carries a special set of psychological and social challenges. It defies our very definition of what ought to be. Youth and health are supposed to be synonymous. If only I could sue my body for breach of contract with the natural order of things.”  Facing Cancer in Your 20s, published 3/29/12 

“Most patients with my type of cancer, a form of acute myeloid leukemia, are long past their childbearing years. While my oncologists are intent on saving my life — and I am forever indebted to them for this — preserving my chance to be a mother someday just didn’t seem to be on their radar.” A Young Cancer Patient Faces Infertility, published 4/19/12 

“Will you tell your family and close friends only? What about acquaintances and work mates? Will you share your diagnosis on Facebook? Who knew cancer needed a social consultant?”  Cancer is Awkward, published 5/3/12

“Surviving a health crisis changes you in real and profound ways, but it doesn’t magically transform you into a healthier or better person overnight. Cancer has made me mentally and spiritually stronger. But as my life starts to go back to normal, I find that some of my old, bad habits are still lurking in the shadows…Getting healthy means being satisfied with small, sustainable, incremental changes to my diet and lifestyle.”  Making Resolutions, published 6/27/13

“It is hard not to speak in clichés about cancer. It can be even harder not to feel as if I have to live up to those clichés. I sometimes feel a deep sense of guilt for not doing a better job of making lemonade out of metaphorical lemons. I know that I am one of the lucky ones, and I am deeply thankful to be alive…When I finished my last cycle of chemotherapy, in April 2014, friends and family congratulated me on being ‘done.’ What they couldn’t know was that in some ways the hardest part of my cancer experience began once the cancer was goneFor many, the experience provides a renewed sense of life and purpose, but the task of rebuilding your life after something as devastating as cancer can also be a deeply disorienting and destabilizing one…It’s a journey into the wilderness of survivorship.”  Lost in Transition After Cancer, published 3/16/15

Interested in reading more? Visit Suleika’s website!

We hope to see you in September! If you have any questions please email us, ayaprogram@tuftsmedicalcenter.org.


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