Meet Emilija, a resilient 27-year-old cancer survivor from Lithuania. In this interview, Emilija shares profound insights gained from her acute lymphoblastic leukemia experience – lessons of appreciating the present, embracing faith, and finding strength in family and friends. Join us in exploring the wisdom, simplicity, and purpose that define Emilija’s life, as she reflects on nature, spirituality, and the importance of taking time in a fast-paced world.”

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

My name is Emilija, now I’m 27 years old and I live in Lithuania, where I was born.

young cancer survivor story

What’s your diagnosis/diagnosis of your family member?

My diagnosis was acute lymphoblastic leukemia, diagnosed 12 years ago.

How and when did you find out about your diagnosis/diagnosis of your family member?

I was diagnosed 12 years ago, just before Christmas, when I had flu symptoms for over a week. Then my parents took me to the emergency room, and after blood tests it was clear it was nothing like the flu.

What has the journey through cancer taught you?

The journey through and after the cancer diagnosis taught me a lot – one of the main things is to appreciate this moment, to understand the transience of life and to enjoy every day. I also discovered faith and trust in God.

What helped you the most during the treatment process?

My Mom, for sure. Also my family and the other loved ones. I discovered faith in God through my illness, so it also gave me strength. I met people from the support fund who helped a lot, and now we are still friends.

Try to describe yourself in 3 sentences

A person who romanticizes simple things. Forest lover. Seeker of sincerity and simplicity.

What do you do in your free time?

I try to have as much free time as possible for my hobbies because the cancer diagnosis made me think about the transience of life.  I spend a lot of time in nature, seeking spiritual growth and self-discovery and also spending time with my loved ones.

young Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia survivor

What is your favorite motto in life?

“Not everything can come so fast as you want, big things take time”

What do you do to relax?

Mostly spending time in nature. Doing physical Activision. Communicating with my friends and family.

What are some of your rules?

  • Be nice to everybody
  • Be kind
  • Communicate with respect
  • Do not discriminate
  • Respect other people’s choice
  • Embrace diversity

What in your life do you feel most grateful for?

For the people, places, and work I love. Also for my health.

What makes your life feel purposeful?

Enjoying simple things. Seeking spirituality and helping other people.

How do you cope when things get hard?

I seek support by communicating with others. Also, I try to find the answers in myself by meditating and praying.

What lesson was hardest for you to learn?

The fact that you need to take your time and not want everything immediately and quickly. Not everything comes at one time! Still learning the lesson to live in this moment!

Which app do you use the most on your phone?

Messenger and Facebook – I like to communicate with my loved ones.