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Everyone you meet has an effect on your life.

Somehow, in some way, others change you: a stranger’s smile lifts your mood. Kindness makes you happy. An injustice spurs you to action, making you someone else’s change. Clearly, as in the new memoir “Truth Doesn’t Have a Side” by Dr. Bennet Omalu (with Mark Tabb), a chance meeting could alter your path.

Sometime toward the end of 2002, Bennett Omalu met Mike Webster.

More specifically, Omalu met Autopsy A02-5214.

That was Webster.

It was a meeting that Omalu later said he wished had never happened…

Omalu was born in the midst of a bombing raid on the small Nigerian town in which his parents had taken refuge. Civil war didn’t last long but it left its mark: Omalu says he was always physically small for his age, due to wartime malnutrition, but it didn’t affect his mental abilities. Omalu’s father, a self-made man with a college degree, insisted that his children become educated; Omalu started school at age 3.

He was an introverted child, a dreamer, and “lazy,” but Omalu knew he could get good grades if he wanted them. The problem was, he didn’t want them, until an older sister enticed him with money. His grades rose and he became a star student who dreamed of becoming a pilot—but Omalu’s father had other ideas. He wanted another doctor in the family.

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