The UCSF Rachel Pearline Endowment
The UCSF Rachel Pearline Endowment
An endowed fund has been established in Dr.Rachel Pearline’s honor at UCSF. The funds will be used to support an annual fellowship* for a UCSF Hematology/Oncology trainee demonstrating an extraordinary commitment to patient care and embodying Rachel's deep humanism, honoring her legacy.
On Thursday, November 5, 2015, Rachel Pearline, beloved daughter, sister, oncologist, friend, and joyful source of light passed away 18 months after a diagnosis of Stage IV gastric cancer. Sadly, she was only 38 years old. Cancer was not new to Rachel. While in high school, she lost her mother to breast cancer, an event that strengthened Rachel's quest towards a career in oncology. She spent her undergraduate years at Brown University, where she majored in biology and was on the water polo team. Subsequently Rachel attended Tulane Medical School where she obtained her MPH. She went on to complete her internal medicine residency at NYU where she thrived at Bellevue Hospital , the oldest public hospital in New York City. Rachel was a marathoner, and her runs raised thousands of dollars for cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Rachel was also a recipient of the prestigious Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellowship, granting her the opportunity to study drug resistance in rural China, an experience that inspired a passionate focus for the future of her career. When she graduated from Tulane, she was fluent in Mandarin and was awarded the "Outstanding International Relationships" award.
For the last two years Rachel was a hematology and oncology medical fellow at the University of California, San Francisco and was awarded her diploma a few weeks prior to her passing
Rachel was always eager to lend a caring hand and would consistently place herself in situations where she could help. She rushed to Chelsea Piers in the aftermath of 9/11, was in New Orleans Hurricane Katrina, helped evacuate NYU’s Langone Medical Center after Hurricane Sandy, and was on the first flight she could find to Haiti after the earthquake.
Though fighting cancer certainly shaped the end of her life, Rachel always championed a 'never give up' attitude. She was known for her generous spirit, persistently positive outlook and enthusiasm, and had an unparalleled dedication and passion for medicine. Her hospital bed was just down the hall from her office, and throughout her cancer treatment she was known to see patients with her chemotherapy pump in hand, preparing her clinic notes from her own hospital bed. She anxiously advocated for her discharge so she could quickly return to her patients at the chemotherapy clinic where she would brighten the room with her laughter and baked goods.
To Rachel practicing medicine was a sacred privilege. She was the truest of healers and was a true inspiration to all the doctors and patients around her. She lived more than most do in a lifetime in her 38 years and lived a life full of grace and dignity. Rachel traveled and made friends around the world and never stopped viewing life as an adventure. She will be remembered for her laughter, extraordinary enthusiasm, unselfishness and unwavering dedication to patient care.
Here is a message she made for her friends while at home a few weeks prior to her passing.
"My Message For You"
Her message touched even people who didn't know her including this family in Michigan.
"Response to My Message for You"
As Rachel has touched the lives of so many, this UCSF Rachel Pearline Endowment is being set up in her name honoring her legacy. Rachel's wish was to have lived longer so she could have helped more patients. Our hope is that this endowment will speak to Rachel's wish, and will allow her legacy and story to continue to inspire oncology work for generations to come.
* Please note we are hoping to raise sufficient funds to endow a fellowship in perpetuity. In the event that the minimum amount needed for an endowed fellowship ($250,000) is not reached by Jan 1, 2017 and it does not then appear likely that the minimum amount will be raised, the funds may instead be used on an endowed basis to support the work of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at UCSF in such manner as the Chief of the Division determines.
Thank you kindly for your gracious support.