Categotry Archives: Extraordinary People

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Mikey Dee

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Categories: Extraordinary People, Musicians

mdee.jpgIf you’re in a rock or pop band in Boston, you probably knew Michael Linick. Linick, a.k.a. Mikey Dee, was well-respected in the Boston scene for his unending support of local music.
Before he became ill, Dee went out almost every night to listen to local bands. He edited the music magazine, The Noise, worked as the director of AAA & Public Radio Promotion at The Planetary Group, played drums for several bands and performed in the Boston Rock Opera’s production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” His radio show, “On the Town With Mikey Dee” on WMFO 91.5 FM, featured a live performance from a different band each week.
In 2000, the staff of WMFO changed the name of the station’s Studio D to Studio Dee. The following year, he was honored with a Boston Music Hall of Fame Award.
“He was a one man support machine — support for local bands, clubs and the entire Boston scene in general,” said Jason Kendall of the band Deterrents.
Dee suffered a stroke in 2000 after undergoing heart surgery. A series of concerts were held in Boston to fund Dee’s therapy and recovery. The events involved more than 200 bands and raised nearly $100,000 for the Mikey Dee Musicians Benefit Trust. That money will now be used to honor Dee and assist Boston-based musicians in serious need.
Dee died on July 6 from complications of pneumonia. He was 40.

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Laden and Laleh Bijani

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Categories: Extraordinary People, Medicine

After almost three decades together, Laden and Laleh Bijani just wanted to live separate lives. But the operation that was meant to grant the conjoined Iranian twins their wish ended up killing them instead.

Despite being conjoined at the head, the sisters sought separate futures. Ladan wanted to return to Shiraz to study law. Laleh planned to move to Teheran and work as a journalist. They knew the four-day surgery was risky; doctors only gave them a 50-50 chance of survival.

On Sunday, an international team of neurosurgeons and support staff at Raffles Hospital in Singapore began the procedure. Once the twins were separated, doctors planned to take a skin graft from their thighs to cover their exposed brains. But during the surgery, circulation between the twins became unstable and they both lost a lot of blood.

Laden and Laleh Bijani died on July 8. They were 29.

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Alex Coreas

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Categories: Extraordinary People

Alex Alberto Cornejo Coreas, a U.S. marine who served in Afghanistan, was determined to see the birth of his son.
In December 2002, Coreas learned he had gastric cancer. Doctors removed his stomach, appendix and part of his esophagus, but they were too late — the cancer had metastasized.
Last April, Coreas was lying in a hospice bed, struggling for life, when his father-in-law was killed in a car accident. By sheer force of will, Coreas left the hospital to attend the funeral. When he returned, his condition worsened.
What worried Coreas most was missing the birth of his child. The baby wasn’t due until July 3, but the doctors thought it would be safe to induce his wife Shawna on June 18. When she went into labor, Coreas sat by the delivery table. Although he was barely conscious and couldn’t speak, he managed to cut the umbilical cord and hold the newborn before returning to his hospital bed.
On June 25, six days after the birth of his son, Coreas died. He was 34.

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Rachel Millet

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Categories: Extraordinary People, Medicine, Writers/Editors

Rachel Millet was an independent young Englishwoman who earned a medal for bravery during World War II.

Millet, nee Howell-Evans, was a nurse at the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital for three years before becoming a matron at a prep school. When war broke out, she joined the Mechanised Transport Corps and learned first aid, map-reading and car maintenance.

After the Fall of France, Millet was recruited as a driver and nurse of the Hadfield-Spears mobile hospital. She was sent to North Africa to aid surgeons with the 1st Division of the Free French. Though she helped out on the wards when it was busy, Millet’s main job was driving and maintaining her Ford truck.

Her unit followed the Allies to Italy, where she was asked to join a small French Commando party landing in the South of France. They arrived at night on the wrong beach, and were attacked by American bombers the next morning who thought they were Germans. She was eventually awarded the Croix de Guerre for bravery for that mission.

In 1946, she married Rene Millet, who worked in the French diplomatic service. The couple traveled to Ankara, Johannesburg and Bangkok, where she helped to start a center for the blind.

Her autobiography, “Spearette: a Memoir of the Hadfield-Spears Ambulance Unit 1940-1945,” was published in 1998.

Millet died on June 1. Cause of death was not released. She was 89.

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Carroll Barbour

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Categories: Extraordinary People

Rev. Carroll Barbour didn’t care if a person was gay or straight, black or white, sick or ill. If they needed guidance, his church was there to help.
In 1965, Barbour was assigned to a church in Georgia. When he welcomed a group of black college students into his all-white congregation, he was attacked by members of the Ku Klux Klan.
“They hit me and beat me to a pulp, then shoved me under a car. But I had to show them they couldn’t silence me. So the next day, I drank three jiggers of bourbon and went to church like nothing happened,” Barbour once told The LA Times.
Barbour became rector of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Hollywood in 1986. Unlike his predecessors, Barbour welcomed those who were sick with HIV and AIDS, a move that angered longtime parish members who vowed to have him removed. They failed, and his pews filled with new followers.
Barbour visited hundreds of sick parishioners every month. He established support groups for patients and their families. He persuaded members of his church to pack up to 200 lunches a week for AIDS and HIV patients at the local hospital. And when his parishioners with the disease died, he presided over their funerals and buried their ashes in an AIDS chapel. In 1991, his oldest son, John, died of AIDS.
Barbour died Tuesday from complications of a pulmonary disorder. He was 72.

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