Brought to you by the students of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Today, we pay our respects to the men and women who have so graciously donated their bodies so that we medical students can learn effectively and one day, use that knowledge to save the lives of others. I have never met any of your loved ones. I may never know what they did in life or who they were. All I know is that without them, I would not be able to complete my dream of becoming a good doctor.
As a young child, I always hated studying. Anytime I ever complained about this ordeal to my mom, she always said the same thing. She said that people could take your wallet, jack your car, forget to return your favorite shirt, steal your heart, and break you down. But she always reminded me that there’s one thing that people could never take away from you, and that’s your education. The lessons you learn in life, through school or just in every day occurrences, are sacred pieces of information that no one can ever steal. I used to joke that Alzheimer's could do this. But all jokes aside, it was true. The knowledge and wisdom I gained throughout the years was mine to keep and because of this, learning became something comparable to gaining wealth. That’s why I pursued medicine, a career path filled with a lifetime of learning.
Your loved ones gave us the ultimate gift. They have not only given us their bodies but also something eternal. They have given us knowledge. The knowledge to make a difference in this world. In life, they were fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers. And in death, they have become teachers. And they have given us this gift of education that no one else can take away from us. By donating their body, they ensure that medical students like myself can have the greatest quality of education. They have given us the gift that keeps on giving and for that, we cannot tell you how much we appreciate them.
I will finish with a quote from Nelson Mandela. “Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.” The generosity of the people who enroll in the body donation program allows us to gain the education with which we can help others. The fact that even in death, these people can make a difference is, to me, a beautiful thing. Thank you.
About the Author:
Priya Srivastava is a second year medical student at UC. This piece is the transcription of a speech she gave at the anual Cadaver Memorial Service held in Kresge Auditorium on October 5, 2013
About the artwork:
"Body Art" is a bic pen drawing by Kasey Roberts. Roberts writes, "My drawing is a metaphorical representation of how I view the human body;I find the body to be a piece of art in and of itself. I truly do." Kasey is 25 years old, was born in Cleveland and raised in Solon, OH. She went to Miami University for undergrad, then took a year off during which time she lived in Cleveland and then spontaneously moved to Chicago. She grappled with whether or not to pursue medical school , but is now glad that she's here; she could not be happier. She very fulfilled by the work we do and is very excited for the future.
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