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Friends, family honor life of former UNC medical professor who died in NY swimming race | CBS 17

By: Russ Bowen | Posted: Jun 18, 2019 / 04:09 PM EDT / Updated: Jun 18, 2019 / 06:15 PM EDT

Dr. Charles van der Horst. (Courtesy of UNC)

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Friends and family gathered at Beth El Synagogue Tuesday to remember the life of Dr. Charles van der Horst. He died over the weekend while swimming in a race in New York. Van der Horst was born to a mother who survived the Holocaust and seemed to never waste a day. Dr. Arthur Axelbank, a close friend, said “he just somehow had a way of embracing life that was just notable and rare.”

“He spent many months in Africa — living there in South Africa and Malawi, opening clinics, doing work with people directly, as well as the big picture (like) trying to understand the cause of the disease and potential cures,” Axelbank said. “Charlie continued to take care of patients. So, his work has always been direct clinical care, research, and teaching. He’s had numerous fellows, residents, (and) medical students that have known him and no doubt benefited from his role modeling and his strong principals, as well as his intellect.”

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