Vladimira Behrova emigrated to the U.S. from Povaska Bystrica, a town in northwestern Slovakia. At 18-years-old, Behrova was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Her doctor in her hometown told her she had five years to live and would only be able to find a specialist in the U.S. or Germany.
In 2007, when she was 19, she left Slovakia for the U.S., where she worked in fish processing plants in Alaska and taught herself English. Five years after that experience, she came to Seattle in search of a doctor. Eight years after leaving Slovakia and nine years after her cancer diagnosis, Behrova has outlived her first doctor’s prediction. She currently works full-time while attending North Seattle College.
This story was produced in partnership with the First Days Project.