A Grateful Young Patient Shows Us How It’s Done

December 21, 2015
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Alex Ferrufino, 20, arrived at the Saint John’s Health Center emergency room on December 27, 2012, after having a seizure, and was so grateful for the care he received that he decided to give back, a little at a time. “He comes into the Foundation office every few months, and drops off whatever he has in extra cash—$10, $9,” says Yolanda Luna, Foundation research coordinator. “I remember seeing him and I was so impressed by how young and humble he was. He obviously doesn’t have much, but he is serious about these donations, and he's taking this money out of his own pocket.”

“My mentor in Singapore encouraged me to start doing this after Saint John's treated me,” Alex says. “I know that every donation makes a difference, and it’s something you can feel good about forever. That’s my goal, to go to sleep each night and know that I’ve done something to help.”

Alex has a goal to help in other ways, too; he’s attending West LA College to be a marriage and family counselor, specializing in sex and relationship therapy. “I really want to help couples stay together by helping them remain interesting to each other,” he explains, “and intimacy is something people always seem to fight about.” Alex lives in Silver Lake with his mother, and swings by the Foundation office on his way to and from school. “He has been doing this for almost three years,” Yoli says, “and he doesn’t live in the area, so he really is going out of his way.”