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“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

-Mahatma Gandhi-

I am fortunate to say that I have known my passion for a long time. For some people, passion is completely separate from career aspiration. Luckily for me, they are one and the same! Ever since I was little, I wanted to excel in the study and practice of medicine. I have my grandparents to thank for this. When they lived in China, they were basically the healthcare power couple of their hospital: he was this very skilled doctor and she was the top nurse. Together, they positively impacted many of their patients’ lives. Like them, I believe that human connection and meaningful relationships based on mutual trust, motivation, support, and respect can lead to amazing health outcomes. However, in our current healthcare system (not just in this country, but globally), public perception places blame on patients. Patients are the problem. Patients are noncompliant. Patients don’t know what’s best. And ultimately, medical professionals are viewed as the solution, placed on a higher pedestal. I have seen how this unhealthy balance can negatively affect marginalized communities, creating mistrust, fear, and harm. I believe that if we can alter the dynamic so medical professionals are viewed as advocates and/or allies, it can be incredibly powerful in empowering individuals and communities anywhere in the world to take charge of their own health and well-being.

Through my exploration into the field of medicine, I have always sought out diverse experiences to improve upon myself and the communities around me. This is why I am so honored and excited to be the first Mama Hope Global Advocate partnering with visionary leaders of the Desai Foundation to build upon community-driven, sustainable health education projects that will improve the lives of women and children in Gujarat, India. I have dedicated the next 9-months of my life to this amazing global partnership. I have committed to raising $20,000 on behalf of the Desai Foundation to support the creation of a Mobile Health Education Program for Shantaben Vidhybhavan, an education center for the community of 40,000 people in the surrounding villages of South Gujarat. This mobile model will work at the grassroots level, reaching communities who do not have access to quality health and hygiene education. In September, I will be traveling to the Gujarat village of Undti, where the education center is located, to live and work alongside dedicated and motivated local leaders to make their dream of a “school/clinic on wheels” a reality. During my 3 months in-country, I will be overseeing the project’s implementation, documenting the progress of the program objectives, and broadcasting this life-changing experience to you, my wonderful supporters.

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