When I came to this country in 1958, to be a dying patient in a medical hospital was a nightmare. You were put in the last room, furthest away from the nurses' station. You were full of pain, but they wouldn't give you morphine. Nobody told you that you were full of cancer and that it was understandable that you had pain and needed medication.
I wanted to race cars. I didn't like school, and all I wanted to do was work on cars. But right before I graduated, I got into a really bad car accident, and I spent that summer in the hospital thinking about where I was heading. I decided to take education more seriously and go to a community college.
My way is the sensitive, emotional way, because that's who I am. I try to be the clown and court jester and make people laugh. At the same time, you have people in the hospital who have had gastric bypass or lap-band surgery, and they still have to work out. If you don't work out and eat healthy, you'll look like a melted candle.
When I was 16, I had a job on the cleaning crew at a local hospital. I wore a pink uniform and cleaned bathrooms and buffed the hallway linoleum. Oddly, I don't recall hating the job. I recall getting choked up at the end of the summer when I went to turn in my uniform and say goodbye to the ladies.
For just a few dollars a dose, vaccines save lives and help reduce poverty. Unlike medical treatment, they provide a lifetime of protection from deadly and debilitating disease. They are safe and effective. They cut healthcare and treatment costs, reduce the number of hospital visits, and ensure healthier children, families and communities.