Brian Leggett: Inspiring Future UCR Physicians

In life, Brian Leggett inspired others through his love of the film industry, big ideas, and even bigger dreams

Elizabeth Farris and Brian Farris, pose with medical student Michael Ibrahim. ucr

BY PAT KOHLMEIER

In life, Brian Leggett inspired others through his love of the film industry, his big ideas, and even bigger dreams. The film school graduate, cinematographer, and photographer had a natural gift that drew people to him.

In 2008, his life took a dramatic turn when he suffered a life-threatening aortic dissection and learned he had Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder of connective tissue. Brian survived the medical emergency and was supported in his recovery by family and close friends who, through an outpouring of love, fundraised to assist with his considerable medical expenses.

However, in 2012, at the age of 30, Brian succumbed to the disease.

Brian’s mother and stepfather, Elizabeth and Brian Farris, wanted to do something deeply meaningful to turn their grief into actions that would help others and memorialize their beloved son who brought so much joy to their lives. Inspired by the mission of UCR’s new School of Medicine to improve the health of Californians, especially the medically underserved, the Farrises decided a gift of scholarship to help educate the next generation of doctors in their community would be the best way to greatly impact others and honor Brian’s memory.

In spring 2016, the inaugural recipient of the Brian Leggett Scholarship Fund, Michael Ibrahim, was excited to meet the couple who had made such a profound impact on his journey to become a physician. While the scholarship alleviated a portion of his loan debt, what Michael really wanted to share with the Farrises is that their scholarship means so much more than money.

“Receiving this scholarship that honors Brian gives me a greater desire to better myself as a medical professional,” he says. “I will continue to strive to be the best physician I can and to help as many people, like Brian, attain optimal health throughout their lives.”

Through the Brian Leggett Scholarship Fund, Brian Leggett continues to inspire people.

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