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Dr. Resa Speaking Event | Featured in The Mercury News

GILROY — Dr. Ramon Resa’s earliest childhood memories aren’t of story time, bedtime cuddles or playgrounds. They’re of loneliness, a grumbling, hungry belly, nights in shacks and endless bus rides to agricultural fields across the Central Valley, where he picked crops since the age of 3.

“My whole life I just remember one field after another,” he said. “Grape fields, oranges… just being totally isolated and alone, even though I had tons of family members.” click to read the article


Dr. Resa | Featured in Rotary Magazine December 2017

At three years old, an age when most toddlers are being assessed on how high they can count or how well they can recite their ABCs, Ramon Resa faced a different standard of measurement: how much cotton he could pile up in the farm fields of central California.

But Resa persevered. Today, to visit him at work, you’ll walk through a door labeled Dr. Ramon Resa. A Rotarian and a pediatrician in Porterville, Calif., he spends his days in an office not far from the tiny box of a house where he grew up among 14 relatives.

Revealing his childhood

At the end of 1990, a freeze devastated the Central Valley citrus industry and caused nearly $1 billion in damage. Rotarians, Resa says, understood what the disaster meant to growers, who were their fellow community leaders. But Resa also understood what the freeze meant for the farmworkers – at least 100,000 lost their jobs – and for their families. He knew that his Rotary club could help.

But first, he would need to tell them his story.

“So at the podium, I told my story of going without food, relying on donations, and going to bed hungry,” he says. “I was ashamed of the way I grew up. I didn’t tell Rotary about it until I wanted to help get the farmworkers food.”

His fellow Rotarians responded immediately. Contributions poured in to help the farmworker families get by. Ken Boyd, then governor of District 5230, who was at that meeting, had had no idea about the childhood his friend had endured. He spread the word to all 44 clubs in his district at that time.

Today, Resa tells his story all over the country – to teenagers and Rotary members, to teachers and migrant worker advocates, at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and at medical schools. He wrote a memoir, and a documentary film about his life is being produced.

4K Film PREVIEW |In Production Now, Projected Release: 2018 – Includes interviews with: Ken Boyd – Executive Producer/Past Rotary International Director,  Dan Lowenstein, MD – Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost at UCSF, Professor and Vice Chairman in the UCSF Department of Neurology and Executive Producer, Diane Wagner.

Executive Producer Diane Wagner’s Interview with Ramon Resa, MD | Talks@Google

Born into neglect and poverty, Dr. Ramon Resa, the subject of the forthcoming documentary “Ramon Rising”, discusses his harrowing journey from abandoned farm boy to renowned pediatrician. Battling against all odds, he persevered and shares a story of hope that we can all relate to. Help bring this documentary to life by becoming a Ramon Rising sponsor. Contact