Dr Júlia Pásztor was born in an Austrian UN refugee camp, her Hungarian parents barely escaping a crumbling society which, in the late 1980s, was in desperate need of political liberalization.
“My parents didn’t have things like bank accounts, they had to stand in line to get bread and soap. It was impossible for them to stay in the country. They were so young, but they had to leave.” Júlia told me as she shared her parents’ heroic story.
Following their acceptance into the USA, Júlia and her family have had to overcome the battle of racism and immigrant-hatred on the soil that they now call home. The soil of which, in 2015, Júlia P࣭ásztor graduated from Washington State University as a Veterinarian – yes, the girl who was born in a refugee camp, the Cinderella Vet, as we like to call her, graduated as Dr Júlia Pásztor. But more than that, it was on this soil that Júlia’s family founded a non-for-profit organisation known as, Farmer Frog. Farmer Frog is an initiative which supports low socioeconomic families, both practically and emotionally throughout the state of Washington.
Coming from a family of such strong and humble people, it’s really no wonder that Dr Júlia, who is now a government veterinarian in New Zealand, working as a Systems Auditor for the Ministry for Primary Industries, radiates such grace, love and empathy for both animals and humanity.
But there is so much more to her story.
Dr Júlia Pásztor is warrior who leads the charge in the battle of mental health preservation for veterinary professionals; someone who can speak with authority because she knows full-well the havoc that mental illness can cause. She is a Climate Change soldier, someone who loves to keep fit, and mostly, someone who understands the financial sacrifice of following your dream – even when the government changes the rules.
Dr Júlia Pásztor, thanks for talking with me today…
Introduction Author: Tanya Middleton, Veterinary Careers Team