Someone once told Dr. Anita Jeyakumar that if she believes in herself and is the best she can be, everything else will fall into place. Since then, she has lived by this mantra and credits it for helping her get to where she is today — Akron Children’s new director of Pediatric Otolaryngology. Dr. Jeyakumar also passes on this advice in her work as a physician to help her “children” become the best adults they can be.
“Our patients have often been dealt a tough hand of cards,” she said, “and resilience and pushing through with spirit helps them get better outcomes and be stronger than ever.”
If you were a fruit or vegetable what would you be and why?
I would be a pineapple: Stand tall (I’m not tall), wear a crown and be sweet on the inside.
If you could be a character in a movie, which movie would it be and why?
I would be the Black Widow from the Avengers movie series. She is smart, excellent at what she does, versatile in many ways and can hold her own with anyone.
When you curl up on the couch to watch a movie, are you most likely to have a bowl of popcorn, chocolate or box of tissues?
Probably a bowl of popcorn AND chocolate. They are movie food groups.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
The first thing I do when I wake up is work out. This is like my version of coffee.
What piece of advice did someone give you when you were young that still resonates with you today?
Believe in yourself and be the best that you can be. Everything else will work out.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Nigeria, which is an amazing country in West Africa. I am a first-generation immigrant.
Who makes up your family, including pets and their names?
My husband, Todd, and my 2 sons, Dhiren (14) and Devanand (8). I also have 2 dogs, Clover and Shamrock.
What’s your favorite food? Who makes it best?
My favorite food is cheesecake. There are lots of places that make awesome cheesecake, but the best I think is from a place called Juniors in New York City.
Do you have any hidden talents or something people may not know about you?
Ballroom dancing is my hidden hobby, especially Latin dances.
What is your greatest achievement?
My family. I am blessed with a supportive and loving husband, 2 amazing and talented children and 2 naughty dogs. I cannot imagine a bigger achievement.