A million dollar impression.
He broke his rule, though, to attend a UCLA fundraiser for cancer and support a patient of his
named Ted. Ted spoke beautifully, my doctor said, advocating for the importance of funding
research. Ted put his money where his mouth was, too. A million dollars on his AMEX card
(evidently they divide it into monthly payments, something I never knew!) Ted was motivated,
having lost a dear friend to the ravages of brain cancer. But he didn’t expect our doctor to donate like that. He wanted doctors there who believe in
the importance of research and know it saves lives. After the event, Dr. Ruiz told me he eceived both a formal follow-up from the UCLA
organization (something he said was rare, despite his being a med school alum) AND a personal hand-written note from Ted. That, he said, meant
the most to him. That a busy person like Ted personally thanked him for showing up made my doctor feel even more positive about Ted’s
organization … and more inspired to push the mission forward. Dr. Ruiz kept the letter on his desk, and as he stopped preparing my IV to run and
show the personalized note on cream-colored stationery to me, I mused once again about the power of a hand-written Thank You.