It’s Not Every Day You Get to Meet One of Your Heroes

Dr. Chuck is one of my heroes; he’s also the founder of Timmy Global Health, headquartered here in Indy. I took a long lunch a few weeks ago to go meet him at a talk he was giving on campus.

The passion this guy has is incredible. It’s not just smoke and mirrors. If there was ever one organization I could get behind, it’s this one. He started this organization in a closet after meeting Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and falling in love with the kiddos. (Not that I could relate at all, there.)

He’s also full of quotable quotes, too. Here’s a few of my favorites.

“I’m often asked, how do I survive the kids? So much of what we chase, we find out is not so important when you see these sick kids dying.”

“I give half my salary to my organization. See those kids? Those are my dependents.”

“Money is not the most important thing. It’s just the most limiting.”

“Live up to your promises.”

“Unless you allow your heart to be broken–unless you allow your heart to be cleaved–how can you possibly wrap it all around this?”

“I don’t play second fiddle to anyone unless the other person is as passionate as I am.”

“I believe that we are not humans on a spiritual journey, we are spirits on a human journey.”

“My mom thinks I’m a Roman Catholic… With my job, I’m a Roaming Catholic…. But if mom asks, I’m a Roman Catholic!”

“Be flexible, considerate, and have a sense of humor.”

“That’s an empty hold you cannot fill with money. Or things.”

“I find it hard to stay hopeful when I see so much wealth and health. The importance over wealth. Kids in accidents where they might be paralyzed, are up and running, screaming, happy, and the parents complain about the size of the flat-screen in the room.”

“You need some rainfall and some sunshine.”

“Culture shock isn’t when you arrive. It’s when you come home. That’s the hard part.”

“My review of the hospital we built came back. ‘Spartan at best,’ it said. I said, ‘Thank you!’ We’re not putting money into things that do not matter.”

“I’m human. I see a problem and I bitch about it. I try to limit my complaining and increase my work to solve the problems.”

“Do you see the smiles on those kids’ faces? Those smiles do not look hopeless or helpless to me.”

“There is nothing more beautiful than a dirty, snot-nosed kid.” (I so totally agree!!)

“When it’s all said and done, I want to be wrung out.”

“Work until you’re done. But, you’re never done.”

“A desperate mother will not care about the data. Will her child live? Your presence gives her hope.”

“When you’re in the right place at the right time for the right reasons–that’s where the magic happens.”

I left feeling inspired. I wish I could bottle that feeling and save it for later, since I know there are tough days ahead. (And, of course, my inspiration was depleted fairly quickly with the awfulness that was Flow last week.)

If all things go according to plan, I hope to be in Honduras by next March; and maybe if I can fund-raise enough, maybe meet up with this group too. The school I have decided on has an amazing global health program, and also offers a dual degree with an MPH. After thinking it over, I’ve decided I want to participate; I’m probably crazy to think I can be a med student and a grad student at the same time, but after talking to some current students who love being in the dual degree program, I think I’ll be just fine. Since no one knows what will happen with our health care system in the future, it might be helpful to have an extra skill set. That’s at least my thought for now. And of course, because I can think of nothing else I would rather do than make a difference for some of those snot-nosed kids I haven’t even met yet. May God guide my footsteps there.

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