Working in the Center for Vaccine Development at University of Maryland has its positives. The past two days I have heard fascinating lectures from brilliant scientists. Yesterday, I heard Dr. Gregory Poland, Director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, speak on the future of the personalized vaccinology. (He also handed me a plate in the breakfast line!)
Today, I listened as Dr. Hilary Koprowski, the inventor of the world's first effective live polio vaccine, told the story of his life. This man, who is considered a living legend in the field of medicine, has lived a very full and rich life.
He earned a degree in music while simultaneously earning his medical degree. He married the love of his life and raised a happy family. He retired from medicine, only to become certified in scuba diving in his 70's and started composing music in his 80's. He is a published author, and at age 95, he is still giving lectures. I am awed at his accomplishments.
At the same time, I am challenged by him. No, I may not achieve the fame or accolades in my lifetime like Dr. Koprowski did. But I can live the same kind of happy, full life that he has lived. He has consistently honored and cultivated his mind, body and spirit, and has remained true to himself and his beliefs even when faced with adversity. This is something to emmulate. This is a well-lived life that is available to each and every one of us.