I worked at Sears in the Woodfield Mall as a gift wrapper. I'm actually a great gift wrapper, and the customers were so nice to me. I was only 16, and eventually Sears put me in customer service because I was so friendly.
My dad worked two jobs and moved us to the suburbs, and just being a black person, I went through a lot of racism and being called names and being bullied every single day. And it was hard. I didn't have any friends.
I was homeless for a little bit. I was on people's couches, but it was an amazing journey. I got to make people laugh all the way.
I am a type-2 diabetic, and they took me off medication simply because I ate right and exercised. Diabetes is not like a cancer, where you go in for chemo and radiation. You can change a lot through a basic changing of habits.
John A. Appleman