My name is Elizaveta Ioussoupova (Yusupova) and I was born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. I would like to dedicate this brief story of my life to all the people who have supported me in my journey to become who I am. My childhood was pretty amazing. I was raised by my loving parents, my father, Gregory Yusupov, and my mother Emilia. My father adored me and unfortunately he passed away when I was about 21 years old. My mother, Emilia, was a strong and caring person. In 2003, while living in Moscow my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer but she decided not to tell me as at that time as I was in law school in Canada, and she did not want to interrupt my studies. Despite my constant suspicions and questions, neither my sister, Irina, nor my brother, Stanislav, would admit of her health condition. My mother’s strength and love for her child still amazes me. I successfully finished law school in Manitoba in 2007 and began my articling year and then my practice at PKF lawyers where I met my husband, Jamie Turner, a family lawyer. In 2011 our son, Eli, was born and due to the nature of my practice I could not take a parental leave and it was for the best for me to open my own business instead of working for the big company. With a little guy hanging off my breast (as he was still breastfeeding) I opened my law firm with one desk and two chairs in Osborne Village, Winnipeg, Manitoba. I love recalling those times as when I look at the current state of my business it gives me lots of energy to move forward. Now we have a team of 5 people working with me and providing an outstanding service for our community.
Much of this growth did not happen until 2021 after I went through the most turbulent time of my life between 2019 and 2021. In December 2019, after a routine mammogram I was myself diagnosed with breast cancer and the only reason I was checked when I was is because of my family history so my mother actually saved my life. After the diagnoses I underwent 2 surgeries, 4 rounds of chemotherapy and 28 rounds of radiation. Once again, due to the nature of my practice I could not stop and I worked through all my treatments. I would like to thank all my referral sources and clients who stood by me. Let’s not forget that my breast cancer journey parallels the world’s journey through Covid. At that time, I did all my work alone as I was too scared to have any assistants near me due to Covid. So totally bald, ballooned from steroids, scared of Covid, unable to walk from chemo / radiation treatments and with the help of Jamie I continued my practice. Honestly, I have no idea how I did it. I had such a desire to live a normal life that I listened to everything that would inspire me and get me out of the bed. I put on makeup, covered my bald head with bright scarves and moved on with my day. I truly believe that the only reason I had the strength is that my family and friends were praying for me. My cousin Leya organized our entire Yusupov family to pray for my recovery. So, with all the prayers I recovered and once I was done with my treatments I decided to take control of my body and build a new legal team. With the help of amazing people that I met during and after my treatments I lost about forty pounds, I started to run again and I discovered stairclimbing as an alternative to running during the freezing Manitoba winter. My achievement so far is 288 flights of stairs, something which takes me about 1.5 hours. The workout gives me lots of positive energy which in turn gives me the ability to build my law practice. While I was losing weight, Leya always encouraged me to do a photoshoot, so I did one in Winnipeg and it was lots of fun with great pictures. My next photoshoot had to be done with Leya and my dream came true. These pictures I dedicate to all women who are diagnosed with cancer. Yes, I know that there are cases that are not treatable and not everyone is a cancer survivor, but I would like to give hope to someone. I don’t want to show the horror pictures that I have from the treatments, the allergy, the loss of hair, eyelashes and eyebrows, scars. I want to show that after such a challenging time you can shine again and even brighter. I have people telling me all the time that something has changed in me and in my outlook at life. My positive energy is spilling over and I felt that I have to share this with others. Just before 2019, for reasons unknown to me, I stumbled onto Joel Osteen and I listen to all his programs on satellite radio. I believe that was also for a reason as Joel Osteen always speaks about his mother who is a cancer survivor and the fact that people who go through some major life events, need to take a step “from patient to physician”. Now that I am healthy, whole, and stronger than ever I want to encourage, support, and become a blessing for others. I want to share some of the resources (videos, books, seminars etc.) that helped me during my recovery journey: Rabbi Manis Friedman, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Mikhail Labkovsky (Psychologist), Feodoridy (Psychologist), Lily Nilova and many others.
I thank Jamie, my step-son Max and our son Eli for being very supportive and understanding during this difficult time, as a family unit we managed that crisis well. I thank all my family all over the USA, Israel, Russia, and Canada for always being there for me. To all my friends and clients who were super supportive I really remember everything you have done for me and I will always appreciate it. I also thank all the women in the Tehillim group in the central synagogue of Queens led by Rina Gilkarov, who prayed for me before the lockdowns in New York. I do not know any of these women but I feel their love and support, I was lucky to meet two women from that group while just walking in Queens with Leya and their genuine smiles and warmth of their words really touched me.