'Gifted Hands,' the Life Story of JHU's Ben Carson, Comes to
Cuba Gooding Jr. as Ben
By Kim Hoppe
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. stars in the upcoming TV movie
Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson
Story, which premieres Saturday, Feb. 7, on Turner Network
Television. Based on the best-selling
1996 memoir of Benjamin S. Carson Sr., director of Pediatric
Neurosurgery at Johns
Hopkins Children's Center, the movie traces Carson's life
journey from Detroit's inner city to his career as a
brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins.
A screening and reception to benefit the Carson Scholars
Fund will be held on Monday, Feb. 2,
on the East Baltimore campus (see below).
The memoir, crafted with Cecil Murphy, begins with his
childhood on the streets of Detroit in the 1950s and 1960s.
Carson faced difficulties early on, when his father abandoned the
family. "All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my mother,"
says Carson of his mother, Sonja, who pushed her
sons to discover the pleasures of reading and the power of an
education. Carson recalls her repeated
words: "Bennie, if you can read, honey, you can learn just about
anything you want to know. The doors
of the world are open to people who can read."
With a new pair of glasses and encouragement to spend time
at his local library, young Carson
dived into the world of books. His scholastic performance
improved dramatically. He went on to Yale
University and the University of Michigan School of Medicine,
refusing to give up on the dream he and
his mother had for his future, even when negative peer pressure
threatened to stand in his way.
Today, Carson maintains a full surgical practice at Johns
Hopkins, is the author of four books
and devotes time to helping young people overcome their medical
limitations and fulfill their dreams.
His well-attended "Think Big" presentations at Johns Hopkins are
open to the public, by reservation.
In 1994, he and his wife, Candy, established the Carson Scholars
Fund to recognize and reward
students in grades four to 11 who achieve academic excellence and
demonstrate a strong commitment
to their community. Since the fund's inception, more than 3,400
college scholarships — which are
awarded without regard to race, creed, religion or financial
need--have been awarded to students in
27 states and jurisdictions.
In June 2008, Carson received the Presidential Medal of
Freedom from President George W.
Bush. The White House honored him for "working to improve the
lives of those suffering from
neurological disorders" and because his "groundbreaking
contributions to medicine and his inspiring
efforts to help America's youth fulfill their potential have
strengthened our nation."
Cuba Gooding Jr. most recently appeared opposite Denzel
Washington and Russell Crowe in
Ridley Scott's American Gangster. He received an Academy
Award for his breakthrough performance
in Jerry Maguire, for which he also received a Screen
Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe
nomination. He is a six-time nominee for the NAACP Image Award,
an honor he won for his performance in the drama Radio.
'Gifted Hands' Screening, Reception at Johns
Tickets are now on sale through the Carson Scholars Fund for
a celebration of Gifted Hands:
The Ben Carson Story at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 2, in Turner
Auditorium, East Baltimore campus.
(Doors open at 6:30 p.m.) Following a screening of the movie,
guests are invited to a dessert reception
hosted by Carson and his wife, Candy. Tickets are $75 to $1,000.
For details, go to
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