Game Changer: Alfredo Quinones works to find a cure for brain cancer

Americas Now

This week’s Game Changer has always relied on his hands to get him ahead. He first used them to pick fruit in California as a migrant farm worker, now he uses them to operate for neurosurgery. 

Born in Mexico, Alfredo Quinones crossed the border into the United States in search for a brighter future. “I had big dreams, and I would rather risk my life than stay in Mexico,” he said.

Even though he was poor and living with five other family members in a one-room apartment, Quinones excelled in school. He was a tutor in math and science and he helped other Spanish-speaking students learn English. In 1994, he was accepted to Harvard Medical School, where he graduated with honors in 1999. He became a professor and neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in 2005.

Quinones’ journey has been remarkable but not his biggest challenge.

He’s now working on finding a cure for brain cancer and his ability to think beyond boundaries just might get him there.

In 2014, “Dr. Q,” and his team from Baltimore took their fourth trip to Mexico to provide medical aid to people in need. Working alongside doctors in Guadalajara, they administered neurosurgical care to patients for free.

We introduce you to Mexican-born neurosurgeon Alfredo Quinones, or as his patients call him, “Dr. Q.”