Leukemia diagnosis

“Cancer friendship” is a message of hope

18.04.2024 09:00

Lisa Jost and Olivia Knauß were diagnosed with the same cancer at the same age. While the former has beaten the disease, the latter is still fighting it with the support of her "cancer friend".

The 25-year-old niece of ski star Hans Knauß will not soon forget the moment when Olivia Knaus suddenly found herself at the wrong end of the hospital bed. In March, the nurse, who had previously quit her job, traveled the world and then retrained as a copywriter, received a shock diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

From nurse to patient. (Bild: Olivia Knauß)
From nurse to patient.

Chance now gives Olivia Knauß hope
"It was like a death sentence," says the 25-year-old about her first thoughts after the diagnosis, "because as a trained nurse, I only thought of more patients who didn't survive." But then Lisa Jost, a former patient of Olivia Knauß, came into the picture. "We hadn't actually kept in touch and she wrote to me three weeks before my diagnosis," says Knauß.

My friend is my most important support, says Olivia Knauß. (Bild: Olivia Knauß)
My friend is my most important support, says Olivia Knauß.

The right words at the hardest time of her life
The South Burgenland native, who was diagnosed with AML at the same age, is now considered cured and is a great support for Olivia. "Lisa was my star in the sky. Finding the right words for someone in such a situation is not easy, but she managed it," says Knauß full of hope.

Lisa Jost: I want to be there for Olivia
"I had goosebumps when I found out about Olivia's illness and now I want to be there for her, just like she was there for me," says Jost. After the initial shock, Olivia's health is improving, the chemo is working and a stem cell donation doesn't seem necessary at the moment. The "cancer friends" are not only united by the same illness and the fact that both have made their fate public on social media, but also by their fighting spirit.

In search of lifesavers. Dr. Barbara Pelzmann, Kurt Posch and Lisa Jost from Geben für Leben. (Bild: Geben für Leben)
In search of lifesavers. Dr. Barbara Pelzmann, Kurt Posch and Lisa Jost from Geben für Leben.

Typing campaigns by the Geben für Leben association
Lisa Schuh is now active as a cancer ambassador and so the idea was born to launch several typing campaigns together with the organization "Geben für Leben". During the open days at the new clinic in Oberwart, 360 people were typed, and on April 25 (1 to 6 p.m.) a campaign will take place at the AK Bücherei Oberwart. One day later (26 April) - Olivia Knauß' 26th birthday - you can be typed at Congress Schladming from 3pm to 7pm.

You too can become a lifesaver
The target group is healthy people between the ages of 17 and 45 who weigh at least 50 kilograms and are tested with a simple, painless cheek swab. Lisa Jost, who suffered from leukaemia herself and now wants to draw attention to the typing campaign as an ambassador, says: "It is a matter close to my heart to draw attention to such campaigns again and again. As a former sufferer, I know how quickly it can happen and how urgently you need help."

Searching for a needle in a haystack
Stem cell and bone marrow donations are often the last hope for patients with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia and other diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs. Compatibility between donor and recipient plays a decisive role in the success of the transplant. The search for a genetic twin therefore often turns out to be the proverbial search for a needle in a haystack. "The more people who are typed, the greater the chance of finding a suitable donor. And, even if I don't need a stem cell donation, it would be my best gift to save someone else's life," Olivia Knauß also calls on people to get typed.

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