“Never give up. Never give up. Never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”– Winston Churchill
“Our Greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”- Desmond Tutu
“Unwilling to give in to that possibility, I keep going, holding on fiercely to the belief that I can make it. Taunts of “you can’t” and “who do you think you are?” have never stopped me before, so why should they now?”
― Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, Becoming Dr. Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon
Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa’s journey from migrant farm worker to brain surgeon is one that conjures inspiration, and an appreciation for hard work and dedication.
On the night of on January 2, 1987, Dr. Q jumped the fence from Mexico to the United States not once, but twice. He made his way to the San Joaquin Valley so he could financially help himself and his family.
After a year as a farm worker, Dr. Q reached the pinnacle of what a farm worker could achieve in the fields—but he knew he could accomplish more. He knew that an education would introduce a world outside of farm work.
He joined the rest of his family in Stockton, California and he enrolled at San Joaquin Delta College. Within two years, Dr. Q was a student at UC Berkeley.
While on campus, Dr. Q realized that as a kid he was surrounded by natural healers in his family and that the joy that came from helping others was part of his DNA. He made the decision to become a doctor—Harvard Medical School was his next destination.
One night while roaming the hospital corridors as a student, Dr. Q was unexpectedly invited to observe a brain surgery in which the patient would be awake. That experience solidified what his soul had been seeking his whole life: he was meant to become a neurosurgeon.
Dr. Q’s path to neurosurgery lead him to do his residency at the University of California, San Francisco, where he discovered that being a brain surgeon wasn’t enough. He took his fight to the laboratory to understand and find a cure for brain cancer.
Today Dr. Q is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest surgeons and scientists, operating on some 250 brain tumors every year and leading cutting-edge federally funded research to cure brain cancer. He is the chair of the Department of Neurologic Surgery at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida. He is also the founder of Mission: Brain, a non-profit organization that provides neurosurgical expertise and resources to patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers in underserved areas throughout the world.
Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa may not be able to cure his patients’ brain cancer, but there is one thing that the internationally renowned neurosurgeon and neuroscientist can provide them with: hope.
Hope and faith like the one demonstrated through Dr. Quinones, who came to USA as an Illegal immigrant worked then turned to be one of the best surgeon, makes us dares to believe what we can’t easily see. It empowers us to trust that God will decide our outcome. Faith and hope together help us get through the most difficult circumstances and troubles in life. Bishop Michael Curry in his book, Love Is The Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times, writes, “Hope comes along, and puts wind in our sails of faith. Hope is the energy that keeps us going when the gravity of reality would otherwise defeat us.”
When we face huge odds in life, doing nothing is not the answer. Why not let our faith and hope help us step into the unknown, trusting the outcome to God? This is what the four lepers did. When our backs are against the wall, we can either give up or act with courage. When we act with faith and hope, we discover God’s goodness on the other side. We learn that all along God was working on our behalf and making a way where we thought there was none.
Be reminded that God is in control with the beautiful words of ‘Keep On Hoping’ from Riley Clemmons. This powerful anthem is the message that we all need to hear during these uncertain times.
“What if the miracle’s a moment away
What if the morning’s just about to break
And all the innocence you thought that you lost
Was there inside of you all along”
“There’s hope for a better tomorrow
There’s hope for joy over sorrow
Cause God’s still good
And He’s still got it all in control”
May our hopes not be overwhelmed by our fears. Let us choose to make our hopes bigger than our fears. Let us all be whisperers of hope in our world so filled with doubts, hopelessness, and cynicism.