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Maryland Stories: Lily Hagopian

"My name is Lily Hagopian, I’m from Boston Massachusetts, and I am a sophomore Public Health Science major on a pre-medicine track. This is usually the part where people make fun of my love for the New England patriots and flinch when I say medicine. Medicine is equated with organic chemistry horror stories and all nighters in the library. While those things can be true of the field I have chosen, for me it represents something much bigger and vastly more important than that. From a young age I knew my calling involved children. This calling developed into a deep-rooted desire to positively impact the lives of these kids. With every experience I have had from my own pediatrician, my pediatric neurology team, and many other pediatric nurses, doctors and surgeons at Hasboro Children's in Providence Rhode Island and at Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston Massachusetts, my desire to make a difference was reaffirmed. Seeing firsthand the impact they had on myself and my family furthered my desire to impact someone’s life in the positive way they did mine. Everyone needs something to motivate them and to be their driving force. We need a “Why”. Those late nights, the moments where doubt starts to take hold, and the times where we question ourselves and abilities all need a counter argument. For myself, the “Why” is the easiest and the strongest argument I can make to keep going. Terp Thon plays a crucial role in the support of this argument. This organization is supported by a fundamental idea that those involved want to improve the lives of as many kids and families as they can. When I first heard of Terp Thon, my now good friend and colleague, Shae McConnell, was the one to pull me in. She painted the organization in a light that was so bright it drew me in. I was looking for a way to get involved that supported my passions and my desire to leave the world a better place than I found it. I participated in the University of Maryland’s first virtual Dance Marathon last year and despite being so physically distant, I had never felt so close to a group of people or a cause. Seeing everyone come together with one common goal was inspiring and getting to see the pure joy radiated from our Miracle Kids had me speechless. As I pursue a career in pediatric surgery I am able to be exposed to the families and children I will someday be privileged to help and impact because of Terp Thon. Making a difference starts with “Why”. Why get up in the morning and work hard all day in my classes? Why bother studying so intensely? Why medicine? Why Terp Thon? The answer remains the same. To change the lives of those who come after me for the better."

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