Meet Eleanor!

Eleanor Nyakina Akumu
Clubhouse Operations Manager

Eleanor currently works as the Clubhouse Operations Manager at Gilda’s Club Westchester, and has 10 years of direct experience assisting senior executives. She has a Bachelor of Science from the Syracuse University in Political Science/International Relations.

Read below to learn more about our hardworking and invaluable coworker Eleanor!

What is something you think every person should experience In their lifetime?

World Travel. There is a huge world out there and one can learn a lot from the differences we have in languages, cultures and sometimes exquisite beauty. I have been fortunate in my life, with two parents that were diplomats to have traveled around the world from a young age. In the late 70’s my father was nominated to be the Head of the African Trade Union and we moved from Kenya (where I was born) to Ghana, West Africa. This move showed me that even in Africa, where there are 53 countries. All have different cultures, traditions and natural beauty.  While I may be biased as a Kenyan, I think everybody should go to Kenya and go on a safari and see magnificent animals in their natural habitat with stunning backgrounds and sunsets.  Our beaches are also gorgeous, with palm trees and golden sands and clear warm water. The Namibian Deserts are awesome to see in size and scope and there is nothing like Cape Mountain in South Africa during a sunset.

Travel, see the world.

If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, who would it be?

I would love to have dinner with my father. He died in August 2016. I would love to get more details on how he was able to raise himself, (with a lot of help, it takes a village) from the village he grew up in Kisumu, Kenya with 10 siblings, to end up world traveled and truly a people person.  My father based on his charisma and consensus building skills rose from being a political organizer, freedom fighter, a Member of Kenya’s Parliament, to a trade unionist who fought for workers’ rights, and a Pan-Africanist committed to building bridges. When the family moved to America, he stayed in Kenya, so we would see each other on vacations, But that time was limited.  I would love to speak with him again.

What is a product or item you could not live without?


If you could relocate to any place in the world, where would you go?

I would return back to Kenya and I would love to open a satellite Gilda’s Club there. Cancer is worldwide and really spiking with African women, and due to cultural reasons we really do not usually seek mental help, either for ourselves or our children.  I know it would do wonders.

What is your favorite part about working at Gilda’s Club?

Knowing the work we do helps thousands dealing with one of the hardest times in their lives. I also love the fact that it is not only for adults, but for children, teenagers and caregivers.

Cancer affects everyone in the family dynamic.