Dr. Nelson Malone was unaware his grandmother Marion had worked as a cleaner at Johns Hopkins Medicine when he initially came there as a student. That was about 70 years ago.
“When she was about 20 years old, she actually ventured off from remote Virginia to come to Baltimore, to the big city, to do some work and found herself here at Hopkins helping out with some cleaning,” Dr. Malone told WJZ.
Malone, who is an emergency medicine doctor, said his career journey became more worthwhile after he got to know his grandmother once cleaned the same facility. “Most of the people who come from communities like I come from, you don’t see that often,” Dr. Malone said.
“We don’t see people making it out of these circumstances.”
Dr. Malone also mentioned that some of his grandmother’s positive principles spurred him towards achieving the feat of being a first-generation high school, college and Harvard Medical School graduate.
He also said his decision on pursuing a career in medicine was greatly influenced by him seeing his grandmother caring for his sick grandfather when he was young. “Seeing her be that care provider to him played a huge role in my decision to go into medicine,” Dr. Malone said.
Marion eventually got to see her grandson become a resident doctor at Johns Hopkins before she died in January.
“I’m beyond sort of what my nana, probably most people in my family, would have imagined,” Dr. Malone told WJZ. “And so it was a beautiful thing that you know, her very last year here, she got to witness me finishing medical school and starting my career.”
He also paid a glowing tribute to her in an Instagram post following her death.