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Book's proceeds to benefit memorial fund

by Roby Hill
SC College of Pharmacy (MUSC campus)
Though Stephen J. Gordin, M.D., is an alumnus of the MUSC College of Medicine, he has a bit of loyalty to other areas at MUSC, particularly pharmacy.
First, his sister, Debby Gordin-Markel, went to the College of Pharmacy, earning her bachelor's degree in 1981 and her doctor of pharmacy in 1984. Second, his brother, Dan, earned a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences from the College of Graduate Studies in 1988. Third, at each College of Pharmacy graduation since 1990, his family has presented an annual award to a deserving student.
Fourth, that award is from the Debby Gordin-Markel Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Gordin addresses all these factors, including the poignant story of his sister’s courageous but ultimately doomed battle with a rare liver cancer in his new book, Debby’s Arrows. Published last August by Champagne Books, his third book is an in-depth, personal memoir that includes details of his sister’s cancer journey, his own professional development, his wife’s (Sandy’s) successful battle with breast cancer and their efforts to have a child.
“Debby’s Arrows is a poignant chronicle of the life of a young man whose hopes and plans are met with substantial road-blocks,” said Kathy Chessman, PharmD, professor, Clinical Pharmacy and Outcome Sciences at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy, MUSC campus. “The obvious devotion to his sister and his dependence on her support and advice embodies the sometimes forgotten importance of family in today’s complicated world.”
All proceeds from sales of Debby’s Arrows benefit the Debby Gordin-Markel Memorial Scholarship Fund, housed at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy, MUSC campus, and administered by the MUSC Foundation.
The book may be ordered from and other online book sellers such as Barnes and Noble, Target and Borders, as well as To make tax-deductible donations directly to the fund, make checks payable to the MUSC Foundation earmarked for the Debby Gordin-Markel Memorial Scholarship Fund, and mail to the foundation at MUSC Foundation, 18 Bee St., MSC 450, Charleston, SC, 29425-4500.
For several years, the family made an annual award to a graduating senior, which usually consisted of a plaque and a financial prize. In 2004, the family established a restricted fund in Debby’s memory and converted the award to a scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to a P3 student who demonstrates academic excellence and financial need, and best exemplifies those qualities of professionalism, dedication and compassion that were deep commitments of Debby’s.
“My parents established this fund to celebrate those ideals and qualities that my sister personified,” said Gordin, a radiologist who graduated from the College of Medicine in 1987, and did his residency in diagnostic radiology at the University of West Virginia before completing a fellowship in neuro-radiology at the University of Pittsburgh. “This cause is very meaningful to my family, and I wanted to do what I could to raise money and awareness of the fund’s existence. When people read the book, I think they’ll understand why Debby was such an inspiration and why she should be so remembered.”
The scholarship the Gordin family established was created, at least in part, so that Debby’s legacy of enthusiasm and idealism would be sustained. In the end, the author discovers how his own legacy—and by extension that of his sister's—might be carried on.
“Steve Gordin’s chronicle of his life challenges, both personal and professional, makes for a heartwarming and inspirational read,” said Kelly Draganov, director of development for South Carolina College of Pharmacy, MUSC campus.

Friday, Feb. 29, 2008
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