Sometimes we as individuals do not know the impact we have on other people’s lives. Dr. Michael Shannon’s life (“Top pediatric doctor at Boston hospital dies at 55,” March 19, 2009) reflects just this.
Through the Harvard Project Success Program, I had the wonderful opportunity to do research with Dr. Shannon in the summer of 2000 on issues surrounding iron deficiency and lead poisoning in children. This truly was one of the best experiences I have had in my life, and when I reflect, it was the relationship that I built with Dr. Shannon which I will always hold on to.
Not only was he brilliant, but it was his compassion toward me that stands out above all. He was kind and always greeted me with a smile, each and every day. As an inquisitive young man, he always took time to answer my questions and explain processes and situations. Our relationship grew past that summer as he naturally turned into a mentor.
When I worked for the Boston Public Health Commission, he graciously accepted to deliver the keynote address to my students who participated in the Boston Area Health Education Center Summer Enrichment program. Looking back, it is the little things he did that I continue to remember.
As a young African American man growing up in the city of Boston, Dr. Shannon was a great role model and truly embodied unique qualities, which I strive to achieve. It is not his accomplishments that will remain, but the lives of people he touched through his genuine altruistic spirit. I am one of those persons and am deeply grateful for having had the opportunity to know such a great man.
Dr. Shannon, may your soul rest in perfect peace, and may the Lord continue to strengthen and bless your family.
BNY Mellon CityACCESS, Program Manager
The Bank of New York Mellon