Born before 60 “golden” years, Ljubica Lugaric, now retired, graduated as an ‘Organisation engineer’. She dedicated her whole working career to banking. Married to the best husband and father, Branko, and enjoying his company for 31 years and counting, she has 2 lovely kids, a son Luka and a daughter Dunja. Dunja is a long time Plan Ireland supporter, volunteer, sponsor and advocate.
Living in a house with 2 gardens, the front one being smaller and full of flowers with a wooden bench where she reads books and fashion magazines; and a back garden, where she grows vegetables and spices. Mornings are her favorite part of the day.
Sadly, one morning in the summer of 2011 was not her morning, as she was diagnosed with leukemia.
Because I am a girl I ask…that all women, girls old and young, be provided with maximum support when faced with problems, serious illness, disabilities. I know this from personal experience. My family gave me strength to fight. They came to visit me every day, brought me a cheery voice and smile, which was hard as I was in the hospital bed with infusions, needles and tubes plugged everywhere. Whenever they came I was calmer and it was easier to get through the treatment. I ask for girls all over the world to feel the same if they are in this situation. I ask for every girl to get the care, understanding and respect because it will make it easier on them; and their families and friends will be filled with happiness knowing that a girl they care about can continue living day by day.
Because I am a girl I believe…we have strength, courage, power and perseverance to support each other and deal with our own issues. One day I was laying in a hospital bed when a good friend came and said “You are not alone on this path and soon this will all be in the past. We are here for you, and you are in our thoughts.” I believe that every young woman, every girl, has the wisdom in her heart, self-confidence and love towards herself and people around her who support her. I believe we can reach fulfillment in our lives because we live in the “now” and we are not looking back into past; especially if the past was not something we want to remember.
Because I am a girl I hope…that every girl can realise they can succeed if they want to. I hope I will soon be sitting in my little garden on the bench, reading a book and that I’ll smile seeing my daughter, son and husband next to me.
Because I am a girl I wonder…why did I firstly think of how will my family live without me? I was wrong. The question I should have asked is, what can I do to live with them after I got ill.
Because I am a girl I dream…to be happy with what I’ve got, for my kids to be healthy and successful in what they do and to have enough of what they need to get them through life.
Because I am a girl I remember…the days when I became a mother for the first and the second time – those were the days of limitless joy. I know that now, but back then it wasn’t easy and I kept wanting my kids to grow up already.
Because I am a girl I like…to wear hats, luxury perfumes, timeless jewellery and ready-to-wear clothes.
Because I am a girl I dislike…lazyness, negligence, scruffy men and two-faced people who talk behind your back.
Because I am a girl I feel…we have the strength within ourselves to survive and deal with most difficult things in life. I felt that and I know I will beat leukemia.
Because I am a girl I…am sad to still see that women are equal to men in business and they are not being appreciated. However, it is slowly changing and soon there will be more and more women that will be more successful in business then men, who will reach higher goals – but one thing will never change and that is the fact that women make this world a better place.
– Ljubica Lugaric