Meet Michael, a 31-year-old from Croatia who faced Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2009. Join us as Michael discusses his proactive approach to life, his mission within EU-CAYAS-NET, and the simple pleasures that bring a smile to his face.

What is your name? How old are you? Where are you from?

My name is Michael, 31 years old and coming from Croatia.

What’s your diagnosis?

I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in 2009.

How and when did you find out about your diagnosis?

I found out about my diagnosis on the ward from the HP-s, month after my diagnosis, details about diagnosis and how it’s treated.

What the journey through cancer taught you?

Journey through cancer taught me what is most important in life, how hard life is and that irrelevant things, difficulties don’t affect me so much. Now I’m proactive, if I face some problem, I won’t complain about it, I will find a way to resolve it.

What helped you the most during the treatment process?

I was 17, extrovert and just laying on the bed and suffering wasn’t an option. Nurses, my second family, helped me a lot. Talking with them, joking, laughing, drinking coffee, trying to put a smile on children’s faces was my power to fight. And, of course, my lovely family and friends, who were such a support which impacts your strength and treatments. <3

What would you like to accomplish within EU-CAYAS-NET?

To discover better standards of care for survivors and to implement those standards in my country.

Try to describe yourself in 3 sentences

My experience is my strength. Even though it’s hard to live with it, I’m using it to enjoy my life and make it useful. Don’t like to complain and do nothing about it. Always trying to find a solution for every problem. And- smile on my face!

 What do you do in your free time?

I like to play my bass guitar, hanging out with my friends and sometimes, just laying and watching tv, what else, hahaha.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Stop, think, react.

What is your favorite motto in life?

It’s our decision if something bad is going to pull you down or be your power thru life.

What keeps you going every day?

When I know that I can make some change when everything is gray, just waiting for a chance to react, it will come.

How do you cope when things get hard?

I sit down alone, with some drink, and think about how it did happen, what are the solutions and what’s the next step.

What’s the last thing you watched on TV/internet/Netflix and why did you choose to watch it?

My last thing on Netflix was Peaky Blinders. In that kind of series, you can see that your family is your power, everything is not what you see and things can change very quickly!