Ever Since She Lost her Mom To Cancer At The Age of 17, Carly Clemons knew she wanted to work to fight the disease. So when Clemons, a 25-year-old New Rochelle native, heard that White Plains Hospital was planning on growing its clinical cancer research program, she jumped at the chance to join as clinical research coordinator. “Getting in early and being a part of that growth was really exciting for me,” she says.
With Clemons on board, growth has been tremendous. Before she started, the hospital’s cancer program had only five active clinical studies, and enrollment averaged less than 10 patients a year. Since Clemons joined in 2011, the cancer program has increased to 20 active clinical trials, and more than 300 patients have enrolled in the studies over the past two years. She helped open a pancreatic cancer study that previously was only available to patients living in Israel, for example, along with another that evaluates novel approaches to managing pain in cancer patients.
Thoracic surgeon Cynthia Chin, MD, has worked with Clemons on a lung-cancer screening program and clinical trial. “In addition to the extensive clinical work required,” Chin says, “Carly also provides a personal touch, which alleviates the stress many patients often have when entering a screening program.”
Clemons, who reverse-commutes from Manhattan, has also raised more than $10,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through charitable races—despite having no prior experience as a runner. “I know a lot of people love to run just for the sake of it, but having something to fundraise for made it easier for me,” she says.
In the fall, Clemons is heading back to school to take her cancer crusade in a new direction: pursuing a master’s in Public Health at Columbia University.