Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

March 5, 2007 10:47 AM

Some Very Influential People in my Life

There is not one specific person that has most influenced me, but instead I have been influenced by a few different people’s qualities that each may possess. All these people have been the people have most influenced me both as a child and now as a young adult. My parents have influenced me the most, while there are others who have also put a great impact on my life. Similar to most people, my parents have influenced me greatly. Both my mom and dad have taught me to always be myself, and have taught me to speak my mind. They also taught me that it is important to do your best, and only compare yourself to you, not anyone else. Even though this advice may be difficult at Berkeley because of the constantly curved classes where you are forced to compare yourself to others, it is still important to compare yourself to you because overall, everyone is different.

The third person that influenced me was my pediatric rheumatologist. Even though I had just been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, she influenced me that it was not necessarily a bad thing to have juvenile arthritis. She said that even though it may stop me from playing sports and doing other physical activities, I could still do what I wanted to do with my life. At that point in my childhood, I had the childhood dream of becoming a doctor because I wanted to help people. However, after her words of encouragement, she still influenced me to “reach for the stars” and still reach towards my goal of becoming a doctor. Yet, at this time, my reason for becoming a doctor was no longer just to help people, but also to figure out why children could get diseases. Not only did her kind attitude and influential personality influence me, but also I found it amazing that she not only was a pediatric rheumatologist at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, but also researched at UCLA on inflammation and genetics of autoimmune disease, and saw patients at their Children’s hospital. This definitely showed to be a lot of commitment, with both the commute from Orange County to LA and all the time being put into her research, but she still was able to influence her patients greatly.

The fourth person to have influenced me greatly was actually someone I met this past summer while interning at the Arthritis Foundation of Northern California. She was someone who was constantly running into obstacles, yet still had a never failing positive outlook on life. She has juvenile arthritis, lupus, and celiac disease, which caused her to have to overcome a lot. She was constantly in and out of the hospital every week because of seizures since her lupus had affected her kidneys, which no longer functioned properly. Although she was constantly in and out of the hospital because of her medical conditions, she still helped out at the Arthritis Foundation office, Camp Milagros (juvenile arthritis camp), juvenile arthritis day, and many other programs. At Juvenile Arthritis Camp, she taught the children a dance and even influenced them with her constant positive attitude. She has influenced me to still have a positive outlook on life, no matter what sort of obstacle may come in my direction.

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