Perhaps the greatest test of love is the way we act in times of need.

Suleika Jaouad

Suleika Jaouad was 22 years old in 2011 when she learned she had cancer. From her hospital bed, she spent years advocating for young patients in a “New York Times” column and Emmy-winning web series. In response, she received thousands of letters and emails from people of all ages who found resonance in her story. After Jaouad completed her final chemo treatment, she embarked on a 15,000-mile road trip to meet some of the readers and viewers who reached out when she was sick — an experience she shared in her 2019 TED Talk and subsequent bestseller, “Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of Life Interrupted,” the source of this quote. Everyone she encountered had suffered traumas and yearned to connect. Jaouad obliged, forging tender friendships from the compassion of strangers.