You know that question that people ask when you’re bored, ‘if you were to win the lottery tomorrow, what would you spend your money on’? I asked that to my grandpa one day (when he was around) and he gave me an answer that has stuck with me ever since. Further to that, not only did I love and appreciate his answer, I have adopted it myself for when I get asked variations of the above question.
‘I would donate at least half,’ he said.
‘What would you donate the money towards?’ I asked.
‘Medical school tuition fees. Every single person in this world will need a doctor at one point or another, and, if you’re one of those people with the courage and determination to become a doctor, you should never be turned away for fear of paying for your education. Making more doctors benefits everyone.”
I remember being so dumbfounded and impressed when he said that to me. It made so much sense. Doctor’s benefit everyone. Whether they’re practitioners or researches, doctors push our planet forward and they help keep us healthy and safe, which is something my family has needed quite a bit of lately.
Late last year my mom was hit with a lot of exhaustion. She kept catching cold’s and it seemed like when she was getting sick, she couldn’t shake it. Ultimately, she and my dad made the decision that she was going to retire. She wanted to spend more time with my dad, and, felt as though if she wasn’t working so hard she might not be so exhausted all of the time.
She retired on November 30th.
On December 14th she went into the hospital emergency. I won’t explain why, as it’s very much TMI for this story. But, she needed to go to the hospital. Within 48 hours she had exploratory surgery.
On December 19 she was given the results of her exploratory surgery. She was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. It had been caught exceptionally early. The doctors were praising her for advocating so strongly for herself that something was wrong.
She was scheduled for a hysterectomy on January 8th. The surgery went well. She spent four days in the hospital following the surgery to recover and she was sent home to continue her recovery. Part of the treatment plan for my mom was that she complete five weeks of radiation therapy treatments as a precautionary treatment.
Throughout this entire process, it has been doctor’s who’ve gone above and beyond to make sure that my mom is okay. As she broke down in tears in the doctors office when she was given her diagnosis, it was her doctor who promised her a treatment plan that would allow her to recover and enjoy her retirement with her husband. When she went into surgery, it was doctors who instilled in her the warrior mentality that she was going to get through this, all she had to do was fight.
There’s been an incredible team of doctors and nurses (I can’t forget about the nurses because they’ve been incredible too) looking after my mom every step of the way and for that, I am so thankful.
Honestly, I believed in the value of doctors long before this ever happened. But now, more so than ever before, I believe that an investment in doctors and future doctors is something that benefits us all. Even if you don’t get sick, even if you think you have no use for them – you love someone in this world and they will need a doctor.
If I ever win the lottery, I am donating half of it to tuition for medical school students.
The world benefits when we have more doctors and when we have more informed doctors.
Also, #FUCKCANCER. My mom is a warrior.