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Why I Do What I Do

BY Katie Leiby

At Hope & Heroes, we are surrounded by doctors who love what they do, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy- their days are long and the work is never over. However, they know that what they do changes the lives of the patients and families they treat. We want to share with you a story that Dr. Darrell Yamashiro shared with us recently- 


I stayed late Friday evening to spend time with a family in the PICU. By the time I got back to the clinic and packed up my bags I realized that my normal exit would be closed, so I begrudgingly headed towards the Milstein Lobby, which was not in the direction of my car. The gift shop there was still open, so I decided to stop and get a soda for the drive home. When I went to the counter to pay there was a nice young woman at the register. She looked at me and asked “What’s your name?”. She must have seen my ID badge, because before I could respond she exclaimed, “Oh my God! You’re Dr. Yamashiro! You treated me for Wilms Tumor when I was three years old! You saved my life.”

She asked me if I remembered her, and of course I did. With so many years having gone by, I’m not sure if I would have recognized her as quickly as she recognized me- she is now 22 years old and it’s been many years since I have seen her. She continues to be seen by the Center for Comprehensive Wellness for the Survivor Wellness program, so we are planning to see each other again when she next comes to the clinic.

Who knew that I would be thankful to stay late at work on a Friday night and take a detour to a different building exit. That humbling moment in the gift shop was a poignant reminder of why we all do what we do.

Thanks to Dr. Yamashiro for sharing this story, which is another reminder of the impact that our doctors have on the lives of so many. Please donate today and help support the work of Dr. Yamashiro and his colleagues!

Have a story about one of our doctors or nurses that you would like to share? Email us at we’d love to hear from you!

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