Patels' success translates to philanthropy

- The Burke family of Tampa finally has a home to call their very own.

"I am glad that I was able to get a Habitat home," Carla Burke said, gratefully accepting the keys.

Habitat for Humanity teamed with the city of Tampa and doctors Kiran and Pallavi Patel to make the Burkes’ dream come true. It’s one of two homes the Patels are building for needy families. 

"I'm only glad that we can use what God has given us for a good purpose." Dr. Kiran Patel said. 

The Patels have a long history of philanthropy, though both have humble beginnings. Kiran was raised in Zambia. The closest school was 100 miles away.  

"In my hometown, there was no high school," said Dr. Patel. 

The Patels met in medical school and married in 1973, as they were finishing medical school. They came to the U.S. in 1976 and built a profitable practice. 

They started the Patel Family Foundation in 1982 and have given more than $300 million to the Tampa Bay community -- and built six hospitals overseas.  

"I just believe that the main issue is: What impact can one create on this earth, and what footprint can one leave behind," Dr. Patel added. 

Dr. Patel says he has a simple formula for success.  

"Persistence, hard work, and remain focused on what you are doing, and I am sure success will be there."

Success, he says, translates to giving, and making dreams a reality for others, too. 

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