Even when things were not going well, having the God-given courage to turn that adversity into something positive is what I learned to do.” – Larry


In 1965 my mother became ill with cancer when I was 15, and died four years later. My grandmother and I were devastated by her illness. We were poor and had no insurance. The only free medical care was at the city clinic. My mother had provided most of the family income. But with her illness and subsequent treatment, she was unable to return to work. Now there was no family income.

 We prayed for my mother to be healed, although the treatment made her sicker than she was before. My grandmother, my mother and I all prayed. We had faith that the Lord would provide for us.

 At that point, our church and neighborhood provided food, money and the support of their prayers. We never missed a meal, and I was able to continue school without interruption. Our landlord helped us by allowing us to delay paying the rent for several months until we could apply for welfare.

 In school I began to talk to three of my teachers about the future. These guardian angels, along with prayer and faith, got me through. The village—my teachers, the church and our neighbors—blanketed us with their love and prayers.

My plan since age seven was to become a physician. How was I going to go to college without any money and no family financial support?  Miss Addie, my counselor helped me answer that question.  She organized the faculty to make sure I got scholarships, transportation and entrance to Wesleyan University, my first choice.

I was hyper focused on my one shot for those first two years. Then I met the love of my life during my junior year, the year I transferred to the premed program at Johns Hopkins University with automatic admission to the medical school. That last premed year did not go as well.

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