The message on the cell phone was, “I hope you packed your long johns, the temperature last night was 23 below zero.” It was February, and we were in Minnesota, a long way in miles and temperature from Florida! The caller was Paul Olinski, and we were on our way to visit him and Khemissa Bejaoui, who live near Marshfield. Khemissa, many of you will recall, was the researcher at the Day Lab who independently identified the genetic defect that causes HSN-1. She took a personal interest in the family and memorized the names and relationships of the members of the family!
In 2003 she left the post-doctoral position through which she did work on another myopathy and then HSN-1 at the Day Lab. She now has her own lab at the Marshfield Clinic. We spent a weekend at their home, set on several acres outside of town. The large “living” room is the original homesteader house, with fireplace, high ceiling, cozy seating, and table and chairs. Out the back window we could easily see the dozen or so deer who came to raid the corn crib, and the flock of wild turkeys who came right to the back door, looking for a hand out!