For the Love of Mike

photos by Matt Rose As the Supreme Court hashes out a ruling on the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, an Asheville mom and former newspaper reporter has started a local conversation about healthcare. Leslie Boyd covered social issues for the Asheville Citizen-Times for seven years, and in total, spent 28 years working for newspapers. But after her son, Mike Danforth, died in 2008 at age 33 from colon cancer, she stepped out of the newsroom to take up affordable healthcare and insurance coverage as activist causes. (“My son is dying from lack of health insurance,” she wrote, in a memorable Citizen-Times editorial.) At a late April fundraiser for her nonprofit, Life O’ Mike, Boyd and others gathered at Asheville’s Highland Brewing Company to watch performances by jug band Blind Boy Chocolate and the Milk Sheiks and rockers Mojomatic. Among the crowd, there was much talk of the national healthcare debate and local alternatives. “There are 100,000 people dying in the U.S. who don’t have to,” Boyd says. “It’s really frustrating.” Details: lifeomike.org.