Writer Suleika Jaouad is changing the conversation about what it means to thrive in the wake of illness and life's unexpected interruptions.

Why you should listen

When Suleika Jaouad finally walked out of the hospital -- after countless rounds of chemo, a lifesaving clinical trial and a bone marrow transplant -- she was, according to the doctors, "cured." But as she would soon learn, a cure is not where the work of healing ends; it's where it begins. She set out on a 100-day, 15,000-mile road trip across the country to meet some of the people who had written to her during her time in the hospital. Her extraordinary journey resulted in her debut memoir, Between Two Kingdoms.

Jaouad is an Emmy-winning journalist, author, teacher and activist. Her career aspirations as a foreign correspondent were cut short when, at age 22, she was diagnosed with leukemia. She began writing the acclaimed New York Times column and video series "Life, Interrupted" from the front lines of her hospital bed and has since become a fierce advocate for those living with illness and other forms of adversity.

Jaouad served on Barack Obama's Presidential Cancer Panel, and her advocacy work, public speaking and reporting have brought her everywhere from the United Nations and Capitol Hill to a maximum security prison and a two-room schoolhouse in rural Montana.

Suleika Jaouad’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Suleika Jaouad

We humans

How you can support a friend through cancer

July 18, 2019

A friend’s diagnosis can feel overwhelming and confusing, but you don’t need to let fear and uncertainty keep you from being there for them. Journalist Suleika Jaouad offers some practical advice for how you can help.

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Live from TED2019

Meaning: Notes from Session 12 of TED2019

April 19, 2019

The final session of TED2019 was a spectacle. From powerful calls to civic engagement and ancestorship to stories of self and perseverance, the session wrapped an incredible week and soared through the end with an unforgettable, totally improvised wrap-up. The event: Talks and performances from TED2019, Session 12: Meaning, hosted by TED’s Chris Anderson, Helen […]

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