“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Wild daisies. Hidden ice cream. Waves lapping against our little island. These memories of childhood summers with my grandmother remain, even as her own memory fades.

Seven years ago, my indomitable grandma¬—a cancer survivor—was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Gradually, her grip on the present loosened. Seasons blurred together. Meals were forgotten minutes after the last bite. Yet in rare, lucid moments, her generous spirit still shines through. She asks about my studies and career, offering wisdom and encouragement, her belief in me unwavering.

Her unconditional love is my lodestar as I navigate my future. No matter where my path leads, I vow to meet life with her compassion and selflessness. In my work, I aspire to create innovations that empower and dignify our most vulnerable—the sick, the aging, the memory-impaired. To build things that surprise and delight. To embrace the beautiful mess and imperfections of life.

Grandma may no longer recall the wild bouquets we gathered or our clandestine ice cream feasts. But she taught me what matters most: that we can lose ourselves in joyfully caring for others—and in so doing, find our deepest purpose.

— Jamie Gong