Willem Johan (Pim) Kolff (February 14, 1911 – February 11, 2009)

Know what’s hardcore? Being an active resistance fighter against the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, that’s hardcore. If, by the by, during that time you also start the first blood bank in Europe, build the first dialysis machine from car parts and juice cans, and hide a Jewish colleague and his son from SS officers, you’re ultra hardcore. Meet Pim … Read More

Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler (February 8, 1831 – March 9, 1895)

Imagine being a physician in 1880 and writing a book that changes medicine as we know it. You put the pen to paper and begin: I now present to the public a few thoughts in book form, trusting that they will be accepted on their merits alone. The following pages contain a few simple appeals to common sense, and are … Read More

Mercy Dogs, unsung canine heroes (Feb 5 1897 – June 30 1968)

Imagine you and yours saved tens of thousands of lives in a time when saving lives wasn’t just hard work, it was hell-a dangerous, too. And then be forgotten. You become a legend, something people actually won’t believe really happened. That’s what happened to Mercy Dogs. On Feb 5 1897 a German painter by the name of Jean Burgatz showed … Read More

Elizabeth Blackwell (February 3, 1821 – May 31, 1910)

On Jan 22 1849, aged 28, Elizabeth Blackwell, born in Britain, became the first female physician in the United States of America. Having been rejected from every medical school she applied to, she finally turned to a small, private, school, the Geneva Medical College (in Geneva, NY, not Switzerland). Blackwell walked in, ready to be denied, but an all male … Read More