The American dream
In some ways, Quinones-Hinojosa, now 45, is a "regular guy." He wants his three children -- 7, 11 and 14 -- to be happy. He tries to exercise to keep himself in good shape, especially for the half-marathons he runs with patients to raise money for brain cancer. He uses the expression "holy guacamole."
There have been so many moments in his life when a combination of luck and determination carried him through. Under different circumstances, he might not have made it.
He's still conscious of the idea of the American dream. He says it was encapsulated by the pride he felt last year when he was an invited speaker at an awards ceremony for middle-schoolers with high GPAs, and got to present an award to his oldest daughter.
"The American dream doesn't mean you have a big house or a fancy car," he said. "That's not the American dream for me. The American dream is the ability to give back when you are so privileged to be able to do what I do. It's: How do you figure out how to give back at least a little bit? That to me is the American dream."