Cancer. Sweden. Visa. Help!

The tl;dr version: Due to cancer related reasons I need to stay in Sweden, but am short on the funds necessary to renew my visa and support myself during treatment. Help!

The long version:


My name is Anica, and I moved to Sweden in August 2015 for graduate school. I earned my Master of Science in Biology with a Specialization in Ecology earlier this year. :D In the midst of job hunting, I had my annual thyroid cancer check-up, which unfortunately didn’t go as well as I was hoping.

Why am I having an annual check-up, you ask? Just a few weeks after accepting to attend university here in Sweden, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Luckily treatment can be relatively quick compared to other cancers, so after surgery and radiation I was declared cancer free August 5th, just ten days before I hopped on a plane. (Because honestly, cancer and transatlantic moves aren’t stressful enough on their own, it’s best to multi-task.)

Everything has been looking good until my check-up this March, which showed an abnormality in my blood tests. Subsequent scans have showed that unfortunately the cancer has come back.

I had a biopsy earlier this week, to see if it has spread to the lymph nodes in my neck, as well as to confirm what  type of thyroid cancer I have. Based on those results, they’ll decide if it’s small enough to just do radiation, or if I need to have surgery as well.

The problem, minus that pesky cancer thing, is the timing is terrible. (Though let’s be real, there’s never a good time to be diagnosed with cancer.) I’m out of money to stay here, but I don’t have money to pay for treatment in the US either.

Last time I had cancer, the medical costs alone were $5,000, and that was with good insurance and before I had this as a pre-existing condition. Even if I could afford US treatment costs, with needing to get insurance and new scans and biopsies, it would be at least a six month delay to start treatment, if not longer.

In Sweden, my treatment is free (bra jobbat Sverige!). However, my current visa expires August 1st, and even in a perfect scenario I won’t be done with treatment by then. I have the option to renew it for another six months, however, I have to prove I have enough money to live off of for the time I’m applying for, which is 8,190kr (~$925) per month.

This GoFundMe is for the amount I’m short to apply for a six month visa extension. This money will also let me do fun things like eat more than ramen and see an occasional movie to distract me from my woes.

Thank you in advance for anything you might be able to give! Even a little bit will help, it adds up. :)

Donations ()

  • Arvid Lindh 
    • $10 
    • 14 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $22 
    • 18 mos
  • Daniel Bonalumi 
    • $10 
    • 19 mos
  • Sara Kalfas 
    • $68 
    • 19 mos
  • Martin Beal 
    • $100 
    • 19 mos
See all


Anica Mercado 
Lund, Sweden
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more