Dear Ma, We Made It.

Dear Ma,

We made it. You don’t know how long I waited to say those words to you. Ever since I last saw you, I’ve been dying to show everyone that your sacrifices were worth it. All those days you stayed up late as I studied for an exam, all the jewelry you sold just so I could take a SHSAT prep course, it was all worth it. You and Papa gave up everything just so I can chase my dreams and that will forever be part of my identity.

I haven’t felt successful over the last nine years but last month, your son found out he is going to become a doctor. I wish I was able to see the happiness in your eyes when I told you this good news. I wish you were able to see the joy in Papa, Prince, and Sadat’s faces when we all hugged. All of the struggle was finally worth it. I know this news didn’t come as soon as I wanted but there were days I questioned whether I would ever be able to make you proud at all.

I received three interviews and it looks like we aced all three as every school wants us. You better believe I told your story to my interviewers at Washington DC, Rochester, and here in New York City. Papa told me interviews were no match for you as you were fearless and were able to connect with almost anybody. I’m glad I channeled my inner Ma and did you proud on all three days. I also told them how your struggle with dialysis was where I found my passion for medicine. It was really hard not to cry when talking about you. But I am thrilled I will get the chance to tell my future patients and colleagues about my amazing Ma.

I hope you can be at more peace now that your eldest son finally knows what he’s doing with his life. But honestly, I know your heart and pride is right now with your youngest son, Prince. I want to say sorry Ma. It has been over four years and I still haven’t found a doctor with a cure for Prince’s disease. Please send all your love to him as he’s been fighting just like you. It’s been four years since my brother was able to walk pain free. The pain is constant and still there so much so that he can’t sleep more than a couple hours. This doesn’t stop him however. He sees his body shaking as he takes every step and fights on just like his Ma. I know he gets all his strength from you. Prince hasn’t let any of this stop him from following his dreams. He just got accepted into the Colin Powell Fellowship and almost done with his sophomore year at college!

The whole family will always suffer from the pain of not having you with us but I really don’t know how Prince copes with the physical pain on top of that. Papa has done his best to help us forget the pain of losing you as he runs the entire house from cooking to cleaning to making sure we have everything we need to succeed. I haven’t been able to stop him from driving a cab just yet but I pray I can take away his burdens soon. But the truth is, I still miss you. I miss your smile. I miss not being able to see you or talk to you anymore.

If I could trade my acceptances for the opportunity to spend one more day with you or see Prince live his life pain-free, I would sign up in a heartbeat. There were so many times over the past nine years where I needed your advice. I know you would’ve helped alleviate Prince’s pain in ways I haven’t been able to. I will never stop thinking about you. I hope you are with our family in spirit during my White Coat ceremony at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine later this summer. When I finally get to put on my white coat, you will be the first person I will think of then and always.

Until we meet again,

Your son,



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