Meet Iva Korović, a 21-year-old from Montenegro. This interview dives into Iva’s experience living with and beyond histiocytosis on the bones of the skull, from facing challenges head-on to using kindness as her superpower.

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

My name is Iva Korović, I am 21 years old and I am from Montenegro.

What’s your diagnosis?

Histiocytosis on the bones of the skull.

Histiocytosis on the bones of the skull cancer survivor

How and when did you find out about your diagnosis?

The first time I was 4 years old, and I relapsed at around 7 years old.

What has the cancer experience taught you?

Most of all it taught me patience and faith.

What helped you the most during the treatment process?

Knowing that I have a family that is eagerly waiting for me to return home.

What has changed in your life since your cancer diagnosis?

Apart from the array of post-chemotherapy health issues that followed as its consequences, I became a lot more persistent, confident, and courageous. My view on life as a whole completely shifted.

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

I would love to spread the word on what we are doing globally, starting from my origins – the Balkan region, specifically Montenegro, as well as include more cancer survivors in this program.

What are your achievements to date (formal or informal, education or hobby)?

International education, leading multiple projects, inter-regional engagement on reconciliatory issues in the Balkans, working and lecturing in human rights matters as well as the entirety of my 10-year-long cancer journey.

Histiocytosis cancer survivor journey

What do you do in your free time?

I enjoy my time with my closest friends, I love reading, cooking, and study dates at the library.

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

This will all one day be yesterday.

What makes you instantly light up?

When people remember small things I tell them once in passing.

What do you do to relax?

Most honestly, I take a bath and fall asleep

What are some of your personal rules?

Currently, boycotting brands that support and fund the genocide of Palestine. My only personal rule is to always be humane.

What defines you as a person?

I am fair, generous, and caring.

What in your life do you feel most grateful for?

Family, always.

What makes your life feel purposeful?

When I get the opportunity to help somebody, and when I see I motivate somebody else to follow through with their ambitions.

How do you cope when things get hard?

I remember that it is only a passing moment, and recall every good thing that has happened.

What lesson was hardest for you to learn?

To be on time.

Which app do you use the most on your phone?

Instagram, WhatsApp, Teams, and E-dreams

Iva Korovič Histiocytosis survivor

What is one book you would definitely recommend to read? Or a movie to watch? Or a song to listen to?

Book – One Hundred Years of Solitude

Movie to watch – Kingdom of Heaven

Song to listen to – Ahibbini from Kadir al Sahir

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

Young Sheldon, because I am a die-hard fan of Big Bang Theory

And this is what you absolutely have to know about me too.

I speak 6 languages, my love language is acts of kindness, my grandfather is my biggest supporter and I am a massive history nerd.