Profiles in Excellence
November 30, 2004
Whether things looked good or not, says Leon Gregston, we feel that God has directed every step. The steps of Leon and his wife, Cindy, have moved them into a place where they are working for and striving at what God has marked out for their lives. Both Leon and Cindy appreciate the foundational steps that the environment and professors at OBU helped to form. Leon realized more fully his passion to help people through medicine at OBU, and Cindy applied her skills and pursued psychology classes.
My father was a physician, and I seemed to have the same aptitudes, says Leon, and after only three years at OBU, I received acceptance into medical school. Leon chose to study radiology, and at age 29 he became board certified. From 1971 to 1988, he worked in Oklahoma City as a general radiologist. Then in 1988, Leon opened a progressive mammogram center which harnessed the skills of radiologists to help save womens lives from breast cancer. Leon says these were eyeopening years. The Oklahoma City based center was ahead of its time and it seemed to be a financial failure. But, Leon trusted God. He used these times to grow and teach me, he says. He has blessed my life and my medical practice so much, and allowed me to see several miracles along the way.
One such miracle is how God took Leon and Cindy from their Oklahoma City context and transplanted them in Springfield, Missouri, where they call home today. St Johns Regional Health Center recruited me to help them start a multi-modality interdisciplinary breast center, Leon says. The center opened in 1994 with 35 patients each day. Now, it has grown to provide more than 300 appointments each day, and it was named one of the Top 10 Breast Centers in the U.S. by 1997.
With 25 years of marriage between them, Cindy has seen God work in her life. Although she has not pursued a career in psychology, she is mother to Leons adult children, Marti and Chris, who each have families, Marti with two sons, Chris with a daughter. Cindy is a scuba diving instructor and a small business owner. She, together with Leon, is very involved in their church, where she says her minor in Bible from OBU has played an important role. Cindy and Leon have both been instrumental in taking a group of physicians to El Salvador to share the Gospel while working with local physicians and medical students.
One of the constants for Leon and Cindy is the way they experienced God working at OBU. It is for this reason the Gregstons continue to support OBU financially. My OBU experience taught me how to study and was vital in both being accepted into and succeeding in medical school, Leon says. OBU has a strong focus on its students and fostered a bond to the faculty, even for me as an adult commuter student, says Cindy. That quality of one-on-one attention is not present in a state-run, publish or perish environment. Leon agrees. At OBU, teachers are totally 100 percent teachers. I learned from them how to deal with people in administrative, interpersonal, political, and doctor-patient environments.
God continues to work through the Gregstons, and through their support of OBU, the foundational steps that they each experienced at OBU continue to be passed on to current students.