Burke's Battle Resonates With Washington

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Isaiah Washington, Grey's Anatomy star
Fans of Grey's Anatomy know all too well the anguish of Preston Burke after the renowned surgeon became a victim of senseless gun violence and is still struggling to regain his past precision.

What they may not know is that the story line hits particularly close to home for star Isaiah Washington, who plays Dr. Burke.

The 43-year-old actor recently told TV Guide about the personal memories triggered by the season-ending shooting of his character.

Washington was a victim of gun violence in his early years but is only now talking about it publicly. He tells the magazine: "I was young and dumb and one day I popped my mouth to the wrong person and got shot."

On an episode of Judge Hatchett, Washington told his story to a troubled teen in an effort to send him down the right path.

"Somebody tried to take my life. I have a bullet hole in my right hip from being shot," Washington said. "I thought I was smarter and faster and quicker than the person I was waiting for at the age of 19. I'm 43 and there was a time where I thought I'd never see 25."

Washington hopes his decision to come forward with his story will help this youngster and others choose a more positive path.

"He needed to see that we all have a choice in this world, that we can all change our destiny," Isaiah said.

Washington has made a career as a talented actor, but more impressively, he continues to leave an idelible mark as a human being dedicated to worthy causes and promoting the common good.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."

You get to a point in your life when you realize you have more yesterdays than tomorrows.

Richard