Choosing to live in joy while healing from cancer, rather than coming from a place of fear, has the potential to greatly improve your experience. Creating more joy cultivates an optimal space for you to heal.

Cancer is a horrible and terrifying disease. Yet millions of people have beaten the odds and beat cancer. Authority Magazine started a new series called “I Survived Cancer and Here Is How I Did It”. In this interview series, we are talking to cancer survivors to share their stories, in order to offer hope and provide strength to people who are being impacted by cancer today. As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Julie Stevens.

Julie Stevens is a Stage 4 Cancer Survivor hell bent on changing the situation for those that follow in her wake. She is an author, podcast host, started MOJO Health — an organization designed to empower and educate people diagnosed with cancer, and most recently launched a strategy builder to bring together the best of conventional and traditional healing methodologies for free. — -

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! We really appreciate the courage it takes to publicly share your story. Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your background and your childhood backstory?

I was born and raised in Clearwater FL (near Tampa) and moved to Atlanta in 1997 to attend Agnes Scott College. I studied Industrial/Organizational Psychology and have worked in this field for over 20 years in a variety of roles. In 2009, I moved to Chicago and starting in 2010, I worked with the American Hospital Association to re-define healthcare roles in light of changing administration (Obamacare) and was a card carrying member of the American College of Healthcare Executives for several years, so I learned how the healthcare industry works.

I have done a number of roles in this industry including sales, consulting, product development, and I lead a team now that supports our indirect commercial strategy and LATAM.

I currently work and live in Atlanta (moved back in 2017). I was diagnosed with Cancer June of 2022.

I really harnessed positive psychology during my healing journey and lived my mantra of Maximize Joy. Part of my healing has been to throw theme parties for each infusion.

I am single with no kids, but I have an amazing pooch, Roscoe, who is a goldendoodle and the light of my life. I love to travel, see live music, and am working non-stop on coaching cancer patients so they can have a similar outcome.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Pain is required, suffering is optional….. Because we all have to take some hits and climb some mountains in life — but our mindset, approach, and initiative makes the difference in how much suffering we have to endure in the process. Maximize Joy is my mantra, so I live every day in pursuit of joy.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about surviving cancer. Do you feel comfortable sharing with us the story surrounding how you found out that you had cancer?

I had low iron in my annual physical — which led to me having a colonoscopy (I thought I had an ulcer due to stress) — and finding a mass so big they couldn’t get the infant size camera to the other side. It was a complete shock as I have no family history, symptoms, or reason to believe I had cancer! So I decided to take inventory of what I had to bring to this fight (I was great at industrial/organizational psychology, I throw a fun theme party, and I understand how hospital executives make decisions) and build a strategy that met my needs.

I had a 14% chance of survival — and was NED within 9 months.

What was the scariest part of that event? What did you think was the worst thing that could happen to you?

Deciding to trust my intuition and fire my first oncologist. They were condescending when I asked how we could measure treatment efficacy during chemo, so I fired them. Thank God I did or I would have endured chemotherapy for fun and likely died within a year. Instead, I built a team of 10 healers — bringing together the best of conventional and traditional medicine — to have a full health recovery

How did you react in the short term?

I chose to live in joy and not fear. I literally went and met about 20 of my best friends at Red Rocks to see my favorite band and decided whatever time I had left, I wouldn’t waste worrying — until I had something I couldn’t overcome to worry about.

After the dust settled, what coping mechanisms did you use? What did you do to cope physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually?

I deployed positive psychology and really focused on controlling the controllables and gathering all of the data to build my strategy. Come to find out, By using genomic data (not typically gathered until you fail chemo) — I was able to identify I was chemo resistant before I even started. Unfortunately, my oncologist didn’t believe me so I still had to do two sessions to prove him wrong before we could pivot to the right medicine.

Is there a particular person you are grateful towards who helped you learn to cope and heal? Can you share a story about that?

My herbalist Oscar Sierra taught me how to prepare my body for treatment so I could outmaneuver side effects, how to use data to predict what treatment will work, and how to use data to predict the treatment is working. I owe him my life!

In my own cancer struggle, I sometimes used the idea of embodiment to help me cope. Let’s take a minute to look at cancer from an embodiment perspective. If your cancer had a message for you, what do you think it would want or say?

Welcome to the rest of your life…. Change or die 🙂 And if you change, your life will be way better, but you have to be courageous and believe in yourself and do the damn work.

What did you learn about yourself from this very difficult experience? How has cancer shaped your worldview? What has it taught you that you might never have considered before? Can you please explain with a story or example?

To Maximize Joy. I have lived in joy during this entire experience and it has allowed me to really advocate for myself in a wonderful way.

To Set Boundaries.

To use my energy for good, every day, and be proud of what I am doing, but also to prioritize time to find my flow, which for me is to go dancing.

How to advocate for myself, how to be data confident, how to build a team to save my life.

I learned how to get discretionary effort out of my team by bringing the best of who I am to the table, and using my strengths (throwing theme parties) to show them how much I appreciate them!

How have you used your experience to bring goodness to the world?

I was declared NED Feb 27, 2023 — so in the 11 months since I was cancer free, I wrote a book, launched a podcast, wrote a whole thought leadership piece on my website on how I used data to predict treatment efficacy, Most recently I built a strategy builder to allow anyone going through chemo to learn methods to outmaneuver side effects of conventional cancer treatments. I used my experience as an expert in the field of industrial/organizational psychology to build a formula and then worked with experts, including the man responsible for my life, Oscar Sierra, to populate this algorithm. For any chemotherapy, you can select the side effects you are most worried about, and then it will populate the diet, lifestyle, healers, and supplements you could consider adding to your strategy above and beyond your conventional approach. I also launched a non-profit and organization to change the data set we have around cancer.

What are a few of the biggest misconceptions and myths out there about fighting cancer that you would like to dispel?

You don’t have a part in healing.

You CAN predict if chemo is working after one or two sessions — so why don’t we? Find your biomarker and make sure you are getting benefit from the toxicity.

You can outmaneuver most side effects of treatment.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experiences and knowledge, what advice would you give to others who have recently been diagnosed with cancer? What are your “5 Things You Need To Beat Cancer? Please share a story or example for each.

1. To most effectively treat cancer long term, you need to heal the host (you) in addition to treating the cancer. Most current cancer protocols only focus on treatment of the disease and do not focus on healing.

I was able to heal every diagnosis along with the cancer. I had chronic idiopathic urticaria (hives) for 13 years and was able to find the root cause. I did a test called the Elisa to make sure the immunotherapy would work properly, it identifies all sources of inflammation, and after finding out the foods I was reacting to through this specialized test, I could get off of every pharmaceutical for hives! Do the work!

2. It is critical to advocate for yourself and build your strategy and care team to heal. You have access to 6 toolboxes to build your strategy and no single doctor has been educated across all 6, so it is up to you to build, educate, and execute a holistic approach.

I built a team of 10 professionals across conventional and traditional medicine and built my strategy to heal.

3. You can prepare your body for cancer treatments to maximize the opportunity for success of the treatment, avoid many side effects, and increase the probability you will react well. Best if you begin 2–3 weeks before treatment and continue throughout. If you take the right supplements, eat the right diet, get the right exercise, and create the right healing environment — you can outmaneuver most side effects and live your best life during treatment. I went to a music festival in Mexico!

4. Most doctors rely on lagging indicator data (PET/CT Scans) to measure cancer activity. For many cancers, you can track blood biomarkers as leading indicators to identify treatment effectiveness between infusions so you can pivot quickly and move to an alternate plan if necessary.

I was able to pivot to the medicine that worked to treat cancer and not have to endure chemotherapy for FUN! It was like a $40 blood test that was the difference.

5. Choosing to live in joy while healing from cancer, rather than coming from a place of fear, has the potential to greatly improve your experience. Creating more joy cultivates an optimal space for you to heal.

I throw theme parties at every infusion to bring joy to myself and everyone around me. Healing doesn’t have to suck!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be?

I am doing that right now! Come check out MOJO Health — I want to build a different data set around cancer to give doctors the insight they need to help us heal as efficiently and effectively as possible.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. 🙂

Brene Brown

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.