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A reader “adopts” my father

Friday, September 11th, 2009

I recently heard from a reader of The Ditchdigger’s Daughters, named Sheila. Like so many who have sought me out over the years, Sheila had words of admiration for my father. But for her, my book about how my blue collar laborer, high school dropout father instilled the importance of an education is his daughters provided an especially poignant inspiration:

I grew up in the projects and never had a father. I purchased your book and Donald Thornton became my father. Whenever I wanted to give up or thought I was not smart enough I would remember his stern words and teachings. Your dad is the father every little black girl in America needs. I am soon to finish my Bachelors Degree in Nursing and going for a Ph.D.

It’s letters like this that keep me going through the tough times, knowing I’ve made a difference in the lives of others by sharing my story.

And that’s why I wish I didn’t have to wait to announce some major, and very exciting news. I hope you will bear with me for a little while longer. That announcement should be coming very soon.

– Yvonne Thornton, MD, MPH