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Gifted Hands Starring Cuba Gooding Jr. Premieres February 7 on TNT

January 14, 2009
Cuba Gooding As Carson

Cuba Gooding Jr. portrays Dr. Ben Carson

Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr. stars in the upcoming TNT (Turner Network Television) movie “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,” which premieres February 7, 2009. Based on the best-selling 1996 memoir of Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., director of pediatric neurosurgery at Hopkins Children’s, the movie traces his life journey from Detroit’s inner city to his career as a brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins.

Crafted with Cecil Murphy, the memoir begins with his childhood on the streets of Detroit in the 1950s and 1960s.  Carson faced difficulties early on, when his father abandoned the family.  “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my mother,” he says of his mother Sonja, who pushed her sons to discover the pleasures and power in an education. Carson recalls her repeated words: “Bennie, if you can read, honey, you can learn just about anything you want to know.  The doors of the world are open to people who can read.”

With a new pair of glasses and encouragement to spend time at his local library, young  Carson  dove into the world of books. His scholastic performance improved dramatically. He went on to Yale University and the University of Michigan School of Medicine, refusing to give up on the dream he and his mother had for his future, even when negative peer pressure threatened to stand in his way. 

Today the author of four books, Carson maintains a full surgical practice at Johns Hopkins and devotes excess energy to helping young people overcome their medical limitations and fulfill their dreams. His well-attended “Think Big” presentations at Johns Hopkins are open to the public, by reservation.

In June of 2008, Carson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush. The White House honored him for working throughout his career “to improve the lives of those suffering from neurological disorders.  His groundbreaking contributions to medicine and his inspiring efforts to help America’s youth fulfill their potential have strengthened our nation.”

Cuba Gooding Jr. most recently appeared opposite Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott’s American Gangster.  He received an Academy Award for his dynamic, breakthrough performance in Jerry Maguire, for which he also received a Screen Actors Guild Award® and a Golden Globe® nomination.  He is a six-time nominee for the NAACP Image Award®, an honor he won for his performance in the drama Radio.

For a short video on Dr. Carson and his achievements, visit The Carson Scholars Fund, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that he and his wife, Candy, founded in 1994 to recognize and reward students in grades 4-11 who strive for academic excellence (3.75 GPA or higher) and demonstrate a strong commitment to their community.

NOTE: "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story" Movie Screening Celebration and Dessert Reception at Hopkins

Tickets are now on sale through the Carson Scholars Fund for "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story" Movie Screening Celebration and Dessert Reception, 7 p.m., February 2, 2009, Turner Auditorium, Johns Hopkins Medical Campus.  After the screening, guests are invited to a Dessert Reception hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Carson.  

Founded in 1912 as the children's hospital at Johns Hopkins, the Johns Hopkins Children's Center offers one of the most comprehensive pediatric medical programs in the country, with more than 92,000 patient visits and nearly 9,000 admissions each year. The Johns Hopkins Children's Center is Maryland's largest children's hospital and the only state-designated Trauma Service and Burn Unit for pediatric patients. It has recognized Centers of Excellence in dozens of pediatric subspecialties, including allergy, cardiology, cystic fibrosis, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, neurosurgery, oncology, pulmonary, and transplant. For more information, visit www.hopkinschildrens.org.