In this grounded theory study we set out to identify what was common in stories of people with serious disease who had less than a 10% chance of survival, and who had a good quality of life at the time of first interview. A core category of personal resiliency was the organizing theme. This was a way of being and acting in the world that had the person strongly connected to life through relationships and a quality-of-life experience that made their illness secondary to their living. Whereas individual participants might not have had this sense of resiliency at the beginning of their illness, they developed it during the time they were ill, both prior to and during their recovery. Resiliency has five dimensions: Connectedness to their social environment, to family, to their physical environment, to their sense of inner wisdom (experiential spirituality), and a personal psychology with a supportive mindset and way of living which supported their values.