Linda Merrick, a former researcher for the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and an advocate for hemophiliacs, died Thursday of complications from a rare bleeding disorder at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was 44.
Ms. Merrick suffered all her life from von Willebrand's Disease, a form of hemophilia, most common in women, that results in easy bruising and prolonged bleeding.
She was a national activist for better care for women with inherited blood disorders and worked to rejuvenate the Maryland chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation.
"She was one of the bravest people I ever knew. She had a lot of challenges in her life and she met all of them with exceptional grace and style," said Marion E. Glick, a former colleague at Hopkins who is now director of communications for Rockefeller University in New York City.
In the May newsletter of the National Hemophilia Foundation, Ms. Merrick was quoted as saying, "I don't think there is a lack of care . . . so much as there is a lack of advocacy and education to consumers and providers."
A member of an old-line Maryland family, Ms. Merrick was a past vice regent of the Baltimore chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
She graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 1974 and received a master's degree in library science from the University of Maryland College Park in 1976.
From 1985 to 1990, she worked as a researcher with the Office of Public Affairs at Hopkins, directing library services and looking up information for the faculty and media.
In recent years she volunteered as a publicist for several local authors, including Janet Farrar Worthington, author of "The Ultimate College Survival Guide," published this spring.
Ms. Merrick also helped promote several Baltimore events, including this year's Cinco de Mayo fiesta and "The Night of 100 Elvises," a benefit in December for Heart's Place Shelter at St. John's United Methodist Church, and the food pantry at St. Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in West Baltimore.
She was active in the National Organization for von Willebrand Patients and Carriers and a member of the board of the Maryland chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation.
She is survived by two sons from her previous marriage, Jake Mishkin, 14, and Josh Mishkin, 12; and her sister, Pat Messina of Baltimore.
Services were to be held at 10 a.m. today at the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation at East University Parkway and St. Paul Street.
Donations may be made to the Maryland chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation, P.O. Box 164, Phoenix, 21131-0164.