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Dear You: An Open Letter to My Personal Hero

This might sound strange, but one of my personal heroes is my mom’s old gynecologist. The woman who guided my mom through her one and only pregnancy means a lot to me. I don’t know how exactly to explain it, but a large part of me wants nothing more than to just thank her. If I wrote a letter to that woman, whose name I don’t even know, it would go like this:


You don’t know me at all, but that’s okay. You probably never really think of me specifically, which is why it’s amazing that you’ve inspired me the way you have. I simply don’t know how to thank you enough. You will never know the impact you’ve had on so many lives, and especially mine. You’ll never know that you helped pull my mom out of one of the most toughest times of her life. My mother was shy and quiet. She kept mainly to herself. At the time, she was completely new to this country. She was mainly alone, despite being married. You probably had no idea that she was in an abusive relationship, and at her wits end. She had no idea what to do with me: a whole new person.

I don’t know exactly what you told her, but the gist of it was that she would be okay. You were instrumental in giving her hope when she didn’t really know exactly where her life was going or what it would bring. You helped her believe in her own strength. You helped her stand up for herself by making her confident in herself.

My mom and I are unbelievably close. Every birthday I have, she reminds me of how happy she was the day I was born because it gave her the strength and courage to get away. One of those birthdays, we looked at old pictures and she told me about you. You gave her confidence in her ability to be a single mother, in a brand new place, around complete strangers. I don’t think the words in this letter can capture exactly what you did for her. Essentially, I just want to thank you for being a strong woman who helped my mother realize the strength in herself. You probably had no idea you were doing that. I’m incredibly proud of my mom and I’m beginning to realize that she is incredibly proud of me.

You are one of the inspirations I have for wanting to go into medicine. If I can do what you did for my mom, I’ll be happy. I want to pass along the strength and confidence you gave my mother and she gave to me, however I can. I’m glad to be surrounded by such strong women in my life. Thank you for being someone who brings this strength out. Empowered women help empower women. Here’s to women empowering other women, selflessly.



Elsie Parmar

Denison '20

Hello! My name is Elsie and I was born and raised in Chicago. That city will always hold my heart. If given the opportunity, I will read every medical textbook in the world, for fun. Rainy weather always makes me ridiculously happy. I enjoy drawing portraits in charcoal and pastels. I am a huge Blackhawks fan, and I may have an unhealthy obsession with true crime podcasts and Amy Winehouse. I also have a green birthmark, and no, it's not just a bruise.
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