Team of the Week

Team Sheila

Honoring a mother and wife battling breast cancer

Team Sheila is dedicated to Sheila Bebchick, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and is still fighting the disease. The team is captained by one of her two daughters – Rachel.

“My daughters are very dedicated to their mother,” said their father (and Sheila’s husband), Les. “They wanted to express their concern for her and about the disease, as well as their commitment to ridding the world of breast cancer – so others do not have to go through what their mother has experienced for the past five years. The best way to achieve this is to do something locally.”

Team acCounting on a Cure

Some members of Team Sheila
at the 2011 Race

Team Sheila was founded in 2010. Last year it had 12 members and raised $1,037. This year, the team fundraising goal was $1,500, but it has already brought in $4,659!

The team consists of family and friends from the New York area and beyond. This year, Team Sheila is expecting 35 – 40 participants and supporters, including local friends and family coming to the Race from out of town. Rachel, the team captain, works at a school in New Jersey and is married to Eric Naggar. They have two children. According to her father, “She is the consummate organizer and cheerleader for the cause, as well as anything she tackles.” Her sister Lisa Bebchick Beim is a lawyer who lives with her husband Zachary Beim in lower Manhattan. They are expecting a baby in November. “Those who run or donate to our team do so out of friendship for my daughters and admiration for Sheila,” said Bebchick.

The team was not only started to help raise funds to support a cure for Sheila, but also for all women. Sheila is currently enrolled in a clinical trial at Mass General Hospital in Boston. “Despite all she has been through, she has been and continues to be an inspiration to all. She is a huge spokesperson for early detection, the fight against breast cancer and the emotional effects of going through such an ordeal,” stated her husband. “She amazes everyone she comes in contact with, spending a majority of time caring for others, engaging other patients on our very frequent visits to Mass General – trying to cheer everyone up.”

The Bebchick family contacts everyone they know and suggests that they ask a dozen people to become team members and donate to the cause, then have those people ask a dozen and so on. “We tell those who hate asking others for money not to feel bad doing so,” said Bebchick. “We suggest they remind potential donors that their donation affords them an opportunity to help find a cure for breast cancer – a disease that unfortunately affects everyone and every family in some way.”

When asked for a favorite Race memory, Bebchick cited being at the finish line with his wife for the past two years. “Sheila and I will be there again this year,” he said. “Hearing the announcer say, Here comes Team Sheila, is exhilarating.” After the Race, everyone goes to Lisa’s home in lower Manhattan for a post-Race thank you lunch. “It’s a love fest.”