Before Sara Bilimoria had even graduated Glenbrook South High School, she accomplished what some adults spend a lifetime trying to achieve.
At 17, Bilimoria has authored a book, assisted with a handful of surgeries relating to the most heart wrenching of medical cases and developed countless memories of life in one of the poorest countries in South America.
“I am very blessed to have had these opportunities,” she said. “They have helped put me on a new path when it comes to my future.”
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Last November, Bilimoria released her first book “Doctorita: What I Learned Helping the Impoverished of Bolivia."
The 218-page novel chronicles her experiences working alongside her father in the operating room of a Bolivian hospital where she assisted with incisions, dispensed medications and helped translate.
‘Little lady doctor’
Since 8th grade, Bilimoria has been traveling to South America with her father, a surgical oncologist. The two work as part of a mission trip with Solidarity Bridge, a Catholic humanitarian organization that seeks to provide medical care and fair trade partnerships to the people of Latin America.
She quickly became a familiar face in the operating room next to her father, and, in turn, was able to offer minor medical aid such as sewing simple incisions.
It was through these experiences she earned her nickname “Doctorita” (little lady doctor in English) from the Bolivian people.
Having kept a journal of her trips, Bilimoria decided to follow the advice of her father and transform the entries into a book. It took over a year to compile and translate the entries.
All proceeds from the sale of “Doctorita” will be donated to Solidarity Bridge.
“I just wanted to tell my story, so I devoted a little time each day to developing the book,” Bilimoria said. “
Through her time at Glenbrook South, Bilimoria says she was able to prepare for these unique adventures, particularly in Spanish class where she worked on developing her language skills.
GBS World Languages teacher Rachael Rothrauff also helped in the Spanish translation of her book. Her father helped with editing.
“As teachers, we often strive to prepare our students for the real world,” Rothrauff said. “However, with Sara, she hasn’t waited until life after high school to begin applying these skills.
"The life lessons she learned in Bolivia are ones that many people don't encounter until adulthood. It was a pleasure to be part of her project.”
Bilimoria will attend the University of Southern California in the fall where she will study Biology. From there, she would like to go on to medical school and become a doctor.
The above courtesy of Glenbrook South.