41 year old emergency room physician, Dr. Raul Ruiz has come a very long way in his life, which initially was spent in California's intensely hot agricultural Coachella Valley.
For Raul is the son of two migrant farm workers. He and his older brother lived in a small trailer with their parents, and shared a bed that in the daytime converted into a kitchen table.
Yet though they had little money, their mother convinced the boys they should go to college and to share whatever resources they did have with others, in making this world a better place.
To raise the money to go to UCLA, Raul went door to door appealing for tiny donations, assuring the donors he would return to serve the community.
In all he raised $2.000
Raul graduated with honors from UCLA and eventually, earned three graduate degrees from Harvard, including an M.D. from Harvard's Medical School. He then worked with the poor in Mexico, El Salvador and Serbia, adding to his own experience in dealing with poverty.
As promised, Raul became a doctor in the community, an emergency room physician at the Eisenhower Medical Center.
But he and his fiancee, Monica Rivers, an emergency room nurse, also did something else vitally important.
Four years ago they started Future Physician Leaders, to assist others from poor communities to become doctors, as their organization now mentors 150 high school and college students.
And then Raul's career took another interesting turn. He recently went into politics.
Running as a Democrat, he challenged seven time Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack, the widow of entertainer Sonny Bono, for her Congressional seat, and he won.
In a Congressional District that stretches from Palm Springs to Hemet to the Coachella Valley to the Arizona border, Raul focuses his representation on behalf of medical issues such as making ObamaCare work, and in helping veterans to receive the medical benefits they need.
When Raul was sworn into Congress, in his speech he spoke of his mother's many hard years of farm labor, and began crying, unable to finish his speech. His mother was there to cry with him, for to them, this had all been an almost unbelievable journey.
As for Raul's goals, "I will always be a physician, first and foremost," he told the Los Angeles Times. "That's who I am. That's what feeds my soul."