AHEC - North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program
Touched by an AHEC: Stories from 100 Counties
Silvia, Sergiu and their son Mark.
Silvia, Sergiu, and their son Mark.

New Hanover County | South East AHEC

A Tale of Two “Marks”

By Donna Flake, director of the Fales Health Sciences Library.
Reprinted with permission from FRIENDS: The Newsletter of the SEAHEC Fales Health Sciences Library, Winter 2008-2009, Number 9.

What does the executive director of South East AHEC (SEAHEC) have in common with a baby boy in Moldova? They have the same first names! Eight-month-old Mark Mironica was named for executive director Dr. Mark Darrow. This was indeed a great surprise and a great honor.

Silvia Ciubrei, the baby’s mother, is the leader of the NC-Moldova medical library partnership in Moldova. Silvia and her husband, Sergiu Mironica, decided to name their son after Dr. Darrow, as a tribute of their friendship and a symbol of the importance of our partnership. Dr. Darrow and his wife, Diane, are Russian Orthodox, and so are most of the people in Moldova, including Silvia and Sergiu. So Silvia and Sergiu also decided to make Dr. Mark and Diane Darrow godparents to baby Mark.

We do indeed have a great friendship with Silvia. Diane Darrow and I traveled to Moldova in September 2006 and spent a great deal of time there with Silvia and her husband, Sergiu, as we worked on the medical library partnership. Dr. Darrow went with Diane and me back to Moldova last year to work on the partnership again, and we had the privilege of visiting Silvia’s hometown village with her parents. Silvia and Liubovi Karnaeva (library director) also came to NC for a study tour of NC medical libraries and stayed for a while in Wilmington – first in the Darrows’ home, then in my home.

Peter Gal
Dr. Mark and Diane Darrow

Silvia and Sergiu naming their baby for Dr. Mark Darrow was remarkable. This is particularly true when common Moldovan boy names are Ion, Vasile, Dragos, Nicolae and Valeriu. It was a clear demonstration that even though our medical library partnership has tremendously helped the medical school, the friendships and bonds between the people are much deeper and longer lasting than the books or databases or the electronic journal articles.

I asked Silvia to write a paragraph for our newsletter saying why she named her baby Mark. Here is what she wrote:

“In North Carolina I met a lot of wonderful people, but the families Darrow and Flake became for me very special. For me they are the ideal families. There are many scholarly people in these families. They are our forever friends. We love and appreciate them very much. On behalf of this friendship and to consolidate our medical library partnership, we decided to name our baby Mark. It is very nice name. We decided to name our baby Mark in September 2007, when Dr. Mark Darrow, Diane and Donna visited Moldova. We hoped Diane and Mark would be so very pleased with us naming our baby Mark. My husband believes that a child’s name has an important role in the life of that person. In the future we would like our Mark to become a wonderful doctor, and a good husband and father just like Dr. Mark Darrow. Also, it is a great honor for us that Dr. Mark Darrow and Diane are Mark’s godparents. We are very proud of our baby Mark, and we hope he will have a beautiful future.”