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Beline Obeid

Making a better world through service

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October 24, 2013
The following is the first installation in a series of articles about Grosse Pointe North High School’s second class of Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Each week leading up to the ceremony Friday, Nov. 22, the Grosse Pointe News will feature a biography of the six recipients. This week’s alum is Cheryl Huckins, class of 1971.

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From an April 2012 account printed in The Sword, Cheryl Huckins, at the time a doctor serving in a medical unit at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, wrote of the frustrating conditions regarding security, of feelings of cabin fever and of a death in the embassy community, a very rare occurrence.

It was a woman, whose husband didn’t want Huckins or anyone to attempt resuscitation, and who, in death, had to be transported back to Dover, Del., because of a lack of mortuary services in the Islamic nation. Of that experience, Huckins wrote, “I never know what I’m going to experience when I get up in the morning here.”

That feeling of the unknown is something Huckins most assuredly has become acquainted with the past few years.

In addition to nine months in Kabul, Huckins, an internal medicine doctor, has volunteered time and money toward relief efforts in post-tsunami and civil war-torn Sri Lanka, Nicaragua, Haiti and post-flood Rjanpur, Pakistan.

“I went into medicine because I enjoy science and I wanted to help others,” said Huckins, who grew up in St. Clair Shores before her family moved to Grosse Pointe, where she attended Brownell Junior High School and Grosse Pointe North.

“I started doing relief work again because I wanted to help. I get so much more out of it than I’m sure I give to the people I’m treating.”

Huckins has been in practice for 31 years in Ann Arbor and is the medical director for the Evangelical Home of Saline, among other positions and accolades she’s received throughout the years.

But it’s her commitment to community and to helping others that distinguishes her among North alumni.

“While we could relate her achievements in her chosen field, the administrative roles she earned in the medical field, it is her volunteer work that captured our hearts,” said Dan Beck, Huckins’ brother-in-law.

Huckins’ desire for giving back, her father John Huckins said, originated during her time at North.

“Grosse Pointe North High School, I felt, was instrumental in developing her desire to help make this a better world,” he said.

At North, Huckins was a varsity cheerleader and candy striper, as well as participant on the debate team and quiz bowl.

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