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My name is Morhaf Al Achkar. I was born in Aleppo-Syria in 1983. I migrated to the United States in 2006 after finishing medical school. I also obtained a Ph.D. in Education from Indiana University. Currently, I am a practicing family physician and associate professor at the University of Washington.
In 2016, I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Since then, my research has focused on the experience of patients living with cancers. My first book is based on interviews I did with 39 patients who live, like me, with advanced illness. I explored how these patients find meaning, cope, and build resilience
Writing my memoir was my attempt to reconstruct my narrative. I did not want to be defined as a cancer patient nor as someone living with resilience despite cancer. I wanted to be me again: A Syrian Immigrant.