Justin’s journey to Pixar has another plot twist. He got introduced to the famous studio because of a heart transplant. When Justin was born, his heart had all sorts of complications: cardiomyopathy, a complete block, a hole between the upper two chambers, a hole in the mitral valve —the list goes on. Finally, when Justin was 12, his heart had been through too many surgeries and procedures to be of much use, not to mention that it was the size of a deflated soccer ball inside his slight 70-pound body. It was time for a transplant.
With a lot of time spent in hospital beds recovering, Justin drew pictures (a hobby he says he started as a kid when he got bored in church). His doctor at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children's Hospital noticed Justin’s interest, and one day, after Justin was fully recovered, took him on a tour at Pixar, where he had some connections. Justin was enthralled—this was what he wanted to do....
He credits his heart transplant with giving him the courage to make risky decisions... “I knew I’d been allowed to stay on this earth, and that I was lucky.....”
Want something, do what you want, take some risks, and know that you are lucky to be alive.