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Mariam Sambe

Researcher - Health Education,

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Who has influenced you the most in your life?

George Eliot once said: "Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another".
It seems to me that everyone has been influenced by someone to pursue a certain career or to follow a certain path in life.
Who is that person for you? And how did he/she influence you?

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  • May 23 2013: I am blessed to work in an occupation that I am passionate about called occupational therapy.
    At the age of six, my daughter called me the "Optional Therapist" since occupational was a difficult word to pronounce.
    There are three people who influenced my journey from a young age through adulthood.
    My father, self-employed butcher, store keeper, and farmer demonstrated compassion while working with all types of people. Strong work ethics watching him rise early every morning instilled values to always take responsibility if you had to feed a familly of six children. Never give up despite adversity.

    The second person who encouraged me to learn O.T. was a person with the same first name..
    Karen Lau showed me how to treat patients with T.B.I, brain injury while a new COTA at Rehab Hospital
    of the Pacific. We showered naked bodies to improve self-care skills to return back home.

    The third person, Keith Matsunaga, inspired me to work in assistive technology at the age of 50.
    Never too old to learn technology. Through his optimal optimism, I learned to work and train clients
    with disabilities. I ventured as a self-employed contractor working on a government contract with veterans in Hawaii.
    When given a task such as teaching augmentative communication devices, I was encouraged to learn on my own.
    My confidence soared after many late nights of practicing.

    There are a few more teachers, friends, family and my dear husband who supported me to achieve my lofty goals.
    The proof is in the pudding having 4 children who also achieved their own personal goals.
    The oldest is MacGeek/photographer, next is a contractor, a business major with a passion for fashion, and last of all is my daughter who is a nurse practitioner.
    Thank you to all of you for supporting me through this magnificent journey!
    Karen O.

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