Black excellence all over the place!
An entire family of doctors goes viral after a photo one sibling posted in honor of National Siblings Day.
Dr. Chinyere Okpaleke, or Dr. Chi as she’s known, is a Houston-based family medicine doctor and one of seven siblings. In honor of National Siblings Day on April 10th, Okpaleke posted a picture of herself, four of her sisters, and one brother, shocking the world, who quickly realized they were all doctors.
Dr. Chi spoke with Because Of Them We Can about the inspiration behind them all going into medicine, saying, “Each one of our stories are unique. Our journey into the health field was led and encouraged by one another, especially our parents. We all shared the desire to help others and to play a vital part in assuring someone’s health is taken care of in the right hands.”
All of the siblings except two attended the University of South Florida. Chinelo attended Florida International Night University, and Lillian completed her studies at FAMU. The seven are also the product of doctor parents. Their father, Andrew Okpaleke, M.D., is a retired internal medicine physician. And their mother, Celina Okpaleke, P.A. is the owner of her own home health business for more than two decades.
“We are Nigerian, so we have that cultural background of my parents being immigrants and basically sacrificing coming here for a better life. Their idea of wanting us to succeed came across in how they raised us,” said Dr. Chi.
Pictured in the photo are siblings Okway Okpaleke, M.D.,Chinelo Okpaleke, P.A., Nkiru Osefo, M.D., Ifeoma Okpaleke, N.P., Okpaleke, N.P. and Dr. Chi. Her sister Lillian Okpaleke, M.D., is the only one not pictured in the photo.
She added that her parents couldn’t be more proud of each of them.
“They are beyond proud of us! They raised diligent and hard-working human beings, and they prayed that their challenging journey as immigrants was not in vain. We watched our parents sacrifice so much to give us a chance to make the most of our blessings they gave us, so it was only right we did our part to make their sacrifices worth it,” she told Because Of Them We Can.
Since the family photo was shared on LinkedIn, it has been liked more than 170,000 times and garnered nearly 6,000 comments.
“I’ve had someone say they printed it out, and they have it on their refrigerator so their children can see it as motivation. It’s very touching. I’m happy that we’re able to shed some light in today’s world,” said Dr. Chi.
While she is grateful for all the love and support for her family, the Houston doctor also has some advice for parents.
“Allow your children to find their way. Always encourage them and lead them in the direction that will make them happy. Their passion should always supersede a title,” she said.
Congratulations to the entire Okpaleke family! Because of you, we can!
Photo Courtesy of Nola Laleye/GMA (l to r) Okway Okpaleke, MD, Chinelo Okpaleke, PA, Nkiru Osefo, MD, Ifeoma Okpaleke, NP, Queenate Okpaleke, NP and Chinyere Okpaleke. Parents Andrew Okpaleke, MD and Celina Okpaleke, PA, sit in front. Sister Lillian Okpaleke not pictured.