I am 32 years old and a cancer survivor. I had a 3 year long battle with lymphoma which required chemo, radiation, and 2 stem cell transplants. Finally after all that treatment having a stranger's stem cells transplanted into me was the thing that worked. I have been in remission for 2 years now without issue (knock on wood FFS). My battle with cancer taught me a lot about myself and also taught me many valuable lessons, most importantly to never take anything for granted.
Like most developers I am self taught, instead of getting my bachelor's degree in programming I decided to major in digital forensics and computer science at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. It was a great program and a lovely place to live, but I kept programming and teaching myself emerging languages and frameworks for fun. When it came time to get a job out of college I decided to develop websites and webapps rather than chase hackers and lock down networks.
I got my first development position at a SaaS company in the fashion sector called Stylesight, barebones frontend work but I had an incredible mentor as a boss who taught me a lot about both front end and back end development. It was a great learning atmosphere and totally nurtured my love of the internet and programming.