It was during my appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show when I first learned how to use my strengths as a doctor to create a dialogue on health with an audience that was eager for information and the opportunity to change. This conversation has been and continues to be anchored by a distinct principle: the imperative need to take control of your own health.
I experienced this firsthand this past summer when a routine screening colonoscopy revealed that I had a precancerous polyp. In the face of a potentially ominous diagnosis, it was reassuring to see that preventative steps minimize risk. This further fueled my passion to campaign for you, to have you become fully aware of your risk factors and the steps you can take to save your life.
We realized that we had a responsibility to take this message to the heart of America. In Season 1, our free health clinic in Houston turned out to be a record-breaking and lifesaving event. Not only did it impact the community, it deeply resonated with my staff and me. This year, we wanted to reach out with a message that emphasized taking proactive steps to wellness. It seemed only fitting to plan an event in Chicago, where our conversation began.
We wanted to let people experience The Dr. Oz Show in person. On Saturday, November 6, we transformed Chicago’s Millennium Park into a mass screening arena. As with Houston, the response was extraordinary. Over 10,000 people came, and over 1,000 were screened to know their 5 lifesaving numbers. In many cases, we provided the most medical care that people had received in years. Through the generous donation of time and expertise from our volunteers, I am confident that we saved lives that day.
This Thanksgiving, I cannot help but be grateful for all of you who were brave enough to take steps to better your health. As you enjoy time with your own friends and family, remember what a gift you have in your own body, and take a moment to toast to your health and invite others to do the same.