A former camper/counselor recognized for her incredible work to help defeat childhood cancerMay 7, 2019
If you were at Yankee Stadium last week you may have seen a tribute before the game to the lifesaving work of Rebecca Zylber and the team at Columbia University Medical Center. Becca is the Clinical Research Nurse Practitioner for their Pediatric Oncology Developmental Therapeutics program, one of only 21 in the nation conducting early phase clinical trials (for experimental or investigational drugs) to pediatric oncology patients for whom standard therapies have failed. This work is vital to saving the lives of children, and is resulting in some major breakthroughs in the battle to defeat cancer.
Becca grew up at Kenwood & Evergreen and was Camper, Junior Counselor, Counselor, and even Senior Unit Leader. We are proud and impressed at the work she is doing, and the difference she is making in the world. In asking her about what she does Becca told us:
I love my job. There are many horrible, heartbreaking days, but the cutting-edge trials we offer provide so much hope to families. And the kids are amazing – I learn so much from them everyday. Leadership, teamwork, and critical thinking skills are vital to my job and I credit much of the development of these traits to my many years at Evergreen as a camper, counselor, and unit leader. However, I take the most pride in the way I’m able to connect to my patients and their families, and it’s for this skill that I’m most grateful to my camp experience for developing.
If you were watching you may also have noticed that standing on the field with Becca was her husband Bennett Zylber and their daughter, their friend Lee Preece, and his son. Why do we bring this up? Because all three adults met and became friends at our camp, and it makes us so happy to see them still hanging out together. Missing at the celebration was Lee’s wife, Sheri, whom he met when he joined our staff back in the early 00’s. Camp friends really are forever!