Julie Picariello, diagnosed at 26

I was 26-years-old and had been one of those people who seemed to never get sick, until the day I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

I wondered how could this happen. It had been so long since I had been sick and needed any type of medication that my local pharmacy took my profile out of their system. Now I had cancer?

I had just been to see my doctor four weeks earlier for my annual physical (although I hadn’t had one in about two years), but I neglected to get my blood work done. I figured since I felt healthy there couldn’t be wrong with me. If I had my blood work done then, I might have been diagnosed earlier.

Since then, I have had a ridiculous amount of chemotherapy and pills. I’ve hit a few bumps along the way.

I push everyone I know to see their doctor regularly, and I encourage everyone to take out the best health insurance they can get because you never know when you are going to need it! Check yourself and make sure you have health insurance. It can be a lifesaver.


  • no noticeable symptoms; caught on blood work at routine physical