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Of the five children of Edith Myers Dorch and Horace Clifford Dorch, their second daughter Lena Yvette Dorch, was born in Boston on July 16, 1962. She peacefully passed away on September 8, 2023 surrounded by the loving presence of her sister Bernita and a family friend.
At the tender age of 8, Lena sustained a traumatic and life-altering injury. She was struck by a driver who couldn’t see her in time to avoid hitting her, as she impulsively darted from a bus to get home from school. The accident severely damaged her spine, costing Lena the mobility of her arms and legs. In the emergency process to clear a pathway for her breathing, her vocal cords were also damaged. She recovered from various surgeries at Boston City Hospital, and was admitted as a live-in patient and student, 25 miles from home at the Massachusetts Hospital School.
Despite the challenges thrust upon her as a quadriplegic, Lena’s strength and faith enabled her to recover mentally and emotionally. The volume of her voice was diminished, but she did not lose the ability to speak and be heard. She graduated from Brayton High School at Massachusetts Hospital School, and earned a degree in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts in 1989. With the support of family, social service agencies and insurance, Lena resided independently in accessible apartments in Boston and Cambridge, and greatly benefited from many dedicated personal care assistants. She did more than survive. She thrived.
After college Lena worked to serve children and adults. She counseled newly-disabled patients at the Woburn Rehab Hospital; tutored students in Math and English for a Cambridge after-school program; wrote articles for the National Spinal Cord Injury Association newsletter. At a doctor’s appointment in 2003,
a fellow patient, Mr. Daniel Giaccomozzi introduced himself to her and they became friends. The following year they became engaged. His lively character and personality matched her outgoing nature, and they enjoyed restaurants, concerts, theatre, boat rides, or hot summer days in the park. Her fiancé Daniel preceded Lena in death in August 2018.
Lena Yvette Dorch is survived by her brothers Hazim AbdullahRauf (Sakinah) of Stockton, California; Kenneth Dorch (Linda) of Hyde Park, Massachusetts; Brantley Dorch (Kisha) of Gambrills, Maryland; and sister Bernita Dorch of New York, NY. She is also survived by aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, many cousins and friends. Lena was deeply loved by them all and she will be deeply missed.