Cornell Class of 1996 Alumni Association

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Archive for February, 2010

In memoriam… Keisha Marie DePass, MD

Posted by nmg1 on February 1, 2010

Keisha Marie DePass, M.D. July 23, 1975 – January 19, 2010

On January 19, 2010, I lost one of my dearest friends, Keisha Marie DePass, M.D. unexpectedly. We met at Cornell University in 1992 and shared some of the best years of our life together. She was a true friend you could always count on with a vibrant spirit that was infectious. We shared many laughs and sometimes even tears.

Keisha’s story can be described as the American Dream realized. She was the daughter of very hard-working Jamaican parents and spent her early childhood years in Jamaica. She then moved to Brooklyn, New York where she made lifelong friendships. She attended Brooklyn Technical High School where she was a cheerleader and yearbook editor.

She continued her brilliant academic career at Cornell University. She was a pre-med, Biology and Society major, a peer advisor and member of the Cornell Caribbean Students Association and Black Bio-Medical & Technical Association. Although focused on her medical school goal, Keisha’s thirst for knowledge allowed her to explore various classes from Human Sexuality to Jazz and Religion amongst her many science courses. She could be found playing Spades in Lowrise 6 or hanging out with friends at Late Night in RPU.

After Cornell University her story only gets better. She attended some of the best programs in the country and excelled.
Medical School:
Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY, 2000
Surgical Internship:
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, 2001
Orthopaedic Residency:
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, 2005
Pediatric Orthopaedic Fellowship:
Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE, 2006

Upon completion of her education, Keisha worked for and then became partners with Andrew Abramowitz, M.D. of Maryland Pediatric Orthopaedic Center. Here she was loved by her patients and respected by her colleagues.

I am sure, that for Keisha the best part of this story is meeting and marrying Amar Thomas. I don’t know if she ever imagined herself with a military man, but I believed she loved every moment of their relationship.

As we, her family and friends prepare to lay Keisha to rest, we are also determined to keep her memory alive. In her honor we have established the Keisha Marie Depass, M.D. Scholarship fund through Cornell University. From the moment Keisha was accepted to Cornell early decision she succeeded academically and thoroughly enjoyed her Cornell experience. This is no small feat, We are planning on funding an endowed scholarship, with a minimum contribution of $75,000. I am asking that if you knew Keisha, are a Cornell alumni, or simply would like to help us promote the next Dr. DePass success story at Cornell University, please contribute to our scholarship fund. All contributions are welcome as we strive to reach our $75,000 goal. Keisha was and should always remain, a true inspiration. Thank you for your support!
Ways to contribute:
Send a check to the Keisha Marie DePass, M.D. Fund
-Gifts can be sent to Chantal Champagne, Director of Donor Relations, Cornell University, 130 East Seneca Place, Suite 400, Ithaca, NY 14850.
-Please be sure to note the fund name ‘Keisha Marie DePass, M.D. Fund,’ on the memo line of the check
Give online to the Keisha Marie DePass, M.D. Fund
– Gifts can be made online using a credit card at the following web address:
-Please be sure to note the fund name ‘Keisha Marie DePass, M.D. Fund,’ in the special instructions box on the on-line giving page

–as shared by Tracy Irby (nee Marin) ’96


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