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I was asked several months ago who my hero was. I knew they were expecting a famous person. Embarrassed, I didn’t know what to say. Finally I admitted that I didn’t have a famous hero, but that a lot of people in my life who, while not famous, were heroes for me.
One of these heroes is Dr. Dotten a hematologist at St. Michael’s Hospital and a professor at the University of Toronto School of Medicine.
I grew up in a small town north of Toronto. In my last year of High School I fell during cheerleading practice and couldn’t get up. I didn’t walk again properly for many years. After 6 weeks of doctors and several stays in the local hospital, my mother took me to Wellesley in Toronto. Fortunately for me I became one of Dr. Dotten’s patients. I had few visitors as I didn’t know anyone in Toronto. After a few days in the hospital, Dr. Dotten began to return to my room at the end of the day and share his news with me. Sometimes his stories were about the hospital, but more often, it was about his many interests, the things he was doing and the wonderful people he knew. When I was able he would take me out and show me Toronto in his old beat up car. It was so exciting for a country hick like me. He showed me there was a wonderful world out there just waiting for me to explore when I got better and I did get better
He cared for me and my younger siblings for many years. He helped my brother during an illness, encouraged my sister in her nursing career. He saw me graduate from high school, get an MBA at Schulich and enter the business world. He even celebrated my engagement. Where else do you get engaged but in the hospital.
He taught me to fight for what I wanted, including my health, and to know deep inside myself that anything was possible and that I was special. He encouraged my dreams and gave me the courage to follow them, and not worry what others thought. Being different was more than okay for Dr. Dotten.
The strange thing was, Dr. Dotten didn’t know how much he helped me or what an impact he had on my life. He was just doing what he has done throughout his life and that is making people well. He calls this being a clinician. I call this being a hero.
The Walker-Dotten award is my way of saying thank you and to recognize Dr. Dotten and the other clinicians for what they are – heroes in people’s lives.
The recipient of this annual award is chosen by Dr. Dale Dotten and the Division of Hematology/Oncology at St. Michael’s Hospital and is awarded to an outstanding clinician. It is will be presented tonight at the Squires Club Dinner to Dr. Tina Trinkaus.
Marnie Walker is the owner of 401 Bay Centre, an office centre located at 401 Bay Street in downtown Toronto. It offers furnished and equipped offices with short term leases, meeting rooms, day offices, mail and telephone answering services.
- Marnie Walker
Posted 25 May 2012, 10:54AM