Four year ago, when I started growing the company, really big into trucking, I've always wanted to have a nice truck to drive myself and that's why we made Big Daddy. And all the shows we take it to, people just goes crazy over it.
I said, "I want to do something for a fundraiser to help kids." I had a kid that actually went to Brenner when he was about a year and a half old, he was. He had a tumor on his head. It actually started on the outside of his skin. Two weeks later it growed pretty fast again. It kept getting bigger. So, we took us to his family doctor. They sent us to a specialist at Brenner and he said, "We might already look at this getting a procedure." So I think they set it up for like 20 or 30 days later. Sit there, we took him that morning. They put him in. So, sent him back there, took it out. Actually let him come home that afternoon and we got the results back in three days later and they told us everything was good.
The kindness that the hospital give us was second to none. The one I felt sorry for was a kid that was beside us, because we was in a room that was being shared with a boy that had cystic fibrosis. And watching their parent and him was one of the toughest things I ever had to see in my life.
I remember the boy, he's having that treatment or whatever they give him, hitting his back and his chest vibrating and rattling. And he thought it was kind of funny. And this was like at 6:30, 7 o'clock in the morning when they was doing it to him and his mama said, she says, "Son, I got to go to work but I promise you I'll be back when I get off work." The boy cried. He said, "Mom, I want you to stay with me." It was seeing the mother have to leave their child and not be able to stay with the kid that was wanting their mama.
Helping your community is the best thing you can do and I wanted to be able to take money to help that parent make that house payment or make that car payment and spend the time that they need to give that child because that child didn't have long to live. He had maybe six months to live from it. There's no cure for it. After we'd done the first fundraiser for Brenners, and that's what I wanted all the money to go to, I didn't want to keep none. I just wanted it to all be a charity of thing. And it's actually turned out to be the biggest show of the year for the last two years and we even had some local companies here last year donate $50,000.
It wasn't that hard, I'll be honest with you. It wasn't. Everybody, after they found out really what we was doing and found out what we was doing it for, everybody jumped in to want to make it happen.
My goal is over the next year or two to see this event do a million dollars a year for my local children's hospital. That's Brenner's Children and I want everybody to get behind this thing and help me make it happen. My daddy always said, "You got to be a neighbor to have a neighbor."
I came to this university and medical center when it was actually very small. There were only two orthopedic surgeons when I came here. I was the third. Since that time, we have gradually grown the department. We now have over 90 orthopedic surgeons. The hospital has expanded tremendously and grown and has included many different departments and now we have many different hospitals.
My family is very invested in medicine. My oldest daughter is a pediatrician and her husband is a pediatric infectious disease. My next daughter is an internist and her husband is an electrophysiologist, and so they all work here at the medical center. My third daughter is an artist. She does healing art. And my fourth daughter works in the administration of the hospital and the business aspects of the hospital.
Why it's important for me to be donating to a chair in pediatrics, my wife Sandy was very devoted and was on the board with Brenner's Children Hospital. Part of the giving is to strengthen our community. An academic medical center is critical for the whole Atrium Group, but it's also very critical to our community as a whole. If you're considering doing, giving a gift, understand that it is there to support the organization. You never know how you're going to make a difference.
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. I'm the oldest of six kids and we were poor. I mean, the whole neighborhood was poor. We thought the whole world was poor because we just lived in our neighborhood. My mother and father were very hard on us on education. They wanted us to make sure that we went to school because they always said, "You need to do better than we are doing, and the way you're going to do that is through education." It was a proud moment to know that my son was coming into PA school. I didn't know that he was initially thinking about it because he was doing so well as a physical therapist and had put his time in and got his doctorate in physical therapy.
I was a orthopedic physical therapy prior to going back to school and I practiced in physical therapy for about seven, eight years as a physical therapist. I went to Wake Forest. I enjoyed every minute. The concepts that we learned, the teamwork, the team bonding that we developed overall is a great program. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I learned so many things. You develop great contacts. The teachers and staff here, I can always come to them if I have questions. And so my time and experience here has been unbelievable.
The gift supports a student who has had either some economic struggles or even some academic struggles, but has shown the resilience. They've been able to bounce back from whatever the obstacles have been.
You want to be able to help those who need help and create an avenue or some type of opportunity for those to be able to get into the program and to stay within the program.
So, in honor of my parents, I thought it would be nice to name a scholarship in their honor because they meant so much to me and the rest of my brothers and sisters. And so that's how I got the idea to do that. It costs to come to PA school and so people need financial aid and so I'm hoping that this gift will at least help in some form of fashion.
I think of philanthropy as giving back or caring for others or caring for the community. And there's multiple ways to do that. And I think if we rank things, time, you can give back with time. You can give back with your talent or expertise or you can give back in contributions through donations and so forth. And I think when you start doing things of that nature, it can become contagious or infectious.
And you give out of your, not only financially, but as Aaron mentioned, you give of your time, you give up your service. Sometimes giving is just listening to others who are going through some tough times and things. But if we're going to make the world better, make our community better, if you have the means to do that, then I encourage folks to give.