Norton & Elaine Sarnoff Center for Jewish GeneticsNorton & Elaine Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics
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Yael ''Yali'' Derman

Yael ''Yali'' Derman

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Perhaps Yael "Yali" Derman walks so easily in her young patients' shoes because she once was one of them. Yali, who beat childhood cancer, pays forward what her predecessors did for her at the very same hospital over 20 years ago.

As a pediatric hematology/oncology nurse practitioner at Lurie Children's Hospital, she dedicates her life to critically ill children. Her calling is to fulfill the mitzvah of tikkun olam in this distinct way, serving up a large dose of kindness and positivity as she strives to heal every child before her. 

This may mean reacting quickly to an acutely ill patient, coloring with a patient as she awaits stem cell treatment, or comforting the parents of a sick child.

Yali is also an artist who created her own line of handbags under the label "Yali's Carry On Collection," a philanthropic handbag company. The proceeds have benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation and have funded a play space at Lurie's Children's Hospital.

AGE:
29

PRIMARY GIG:
Pediatric hematology/oncology nurse practitioner at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago

ON THE SIDE:
I designed and created my own line of handbags under the label “Yali’s Carry On Collection;” I am the CEO of Yali’s Carry On LLC, a philanthropic handbag company.

RELATIONSHIP STATUS:
Single. Searching for my AfikoMAN!

GREW UP IN:
Highland Park

SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME:
I designed and implemented an art curriculum for hospitalized children to engage and nurture creativity for seriously ill children and their families. For these efforts, I was named a Glamour Top Ten College Woman and received the L'Oréal Paris Beauty-of-Giving Award!

A JEW WHO INSPIRES YOU:
I am the grandchild of four Holocaust survivors—Lisa and Aron Derman z’l and Yetta and Sam Rosenberg z’l. They were pillars of the Chicagoland Jewish community and they are an inspiration to me; I embrace their legacy and incorporate it into my own life by practicing resilience in the face of challenges, maintaining strong family bonds, and by a commitment to continuing the chain of the Jewish people in practice and purpose.

YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE:
Make yourself proud; fashion your life as if it were a work of art that you can look back on and admire.

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