Go Aunt Cho!
What a night! If it were the Oscars, you could say Aunt Cho (pronounced SHOW) swept the awards.
Tonight we celebrated Aunt Cholene’s graduation from her residency at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles and the completion of her ten-year journey to become Dr. Cholene Espinoza, OB-Gyn. As if becoming a doctor weren’t enough, she was the honored recipient of three awards — Leo G. Rigler, MD Award for Academic Achievement, Nurses Award for Outstanding Chief Resident, and Carol Jordan-Harris, MD Resident Award for Community Service. Aunt Cho rocked the house!
Here’s the thing about Cholene. You would never know by having a conversation with her that she was one of the first women to fly the U2 spy plane, that she had been a pilot for United Airlines, and that she had been an embedded reporter in Iraq before deciding to go to medical school at the age of 44. She doesn’t brag. She just does stuff. Amazing stuff.
We have watched her up close on this journey. And I can say that there is no physician I would want more at my bedside given any critical situation. She deeply cares about her patients. She is constantly researching the latest literature to ensure she is providing the highest level of medical care — she never phones it in. And she respects the dignity of her patients by presenting them with every option along with pros and cons so that they can make the most informed decisions possible. She is committed to patient autonomy.
We could not have been prouder to celebrate Aunt Cho tonight. I wish with all my heart the little guy she used to take skating at the El Toro marine base could have been there to cheer with us.
When Chandler was in the hospital, Aunt Cho drove down from LA almost every day, even amidst the grueling schedule of a resident. She was our interpreter, our advisor, our advocate. She has always been Chandler’s hero. At the end, she was his champion.
Chase said it best when he told Cholene tonight, “Aunt Cho, if the only reason you went to med school was to be there for Chandler, it was worth it.” She agreed.
Dear God, thank you for every point of provision that made it possible for Aunt Cho to enter med school and to not only persevere and finish, but to finish with the highest commendations of respect from her fellow residents, faculty members, and all those with whom she has served these past four years. Thank you for allowing us to have this extraordinary human being in our lives. Please continue to bless the work of her hands and heart as she begins this new season as Dr. Cholene Espinoza. Amen.