In 1998, our daughter, born just 17 months prior with Down Symdrome, was diagnosed with AML, a type of leukemia. She was successfully treated at Tuft's Floating Hospital Heme-Onc. clinic and is now a thriving 15 1/2 yr. old. During her 6 month chemo ordeal, we had the pleasure of spending a few nights at the Neely House along with our sons, who were 5 + 7 at the time. it gave us some much needed family time. Since our stay the Neely House has doubled in size,, allowing more families that same much needed family time in a warm and welcoming environment. We will always have a spot in our hearts for the Neely Foundation!
Nearly a year ago, my wife took our daughter, Zoe, up to Tufts Medical Center to determine why our vibrant 11-year-old daughter was suffering from bouts of nausea, lethargy, muscle weakness, and coordination problems. After a night in the Emergency Room and a series of tests, we were informed that Zoe had a very large and invasive tumor on the right side of her brain. This news was followed by an eight hour procedure where the Neurosurgeons at Tufts Floating Hospital for Children were able to remove over 2/3rds of the tumor. Several days later our worst fears were confirmed, tests on the tumor revealed that it was a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
Currently, Zoe is in her 11th month of treatment, participating in a clinical trial administered through overseen by Tuft's Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Group. While Zoe's care is handled on a daily basis by talented and dedicated professionals, the actions of a former NHL and Boston Bruin star has helped improve the odds in this fight to find a cure.
When most people in Boston hear the name "Cam Neely", they think of the man who wore #8 and played over 13 years in the National Hockey League. When Zoe hears the name "Cam Neely", she thinks of "the man who created a foundation to help cure cancer".
The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care was launched in 1995 by the Neely family after the passing of their parents Marlene and Michael Neely from cancer. The Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center has been one of the foundation's major beneficiaries. The Neely Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic - opened in 2010 - is a state-of-the art facility that serves as a "home away from home" for pediatric cancer patients and their families. The overall design of the clinic has turned a hospital into a place of comfort that seeks to minimize the stresses facing those who must deal with childhood cancer. If you had to ask Zoe, she would tell you her favorite part of the clinic is the Playroom with video games and computers that she uses to pass the time during her treatment.
Since 1995, the Neely Foundation has raised over $25 million dollars and enabled the development of other areas at Tufts Medical Center including:
The Neely Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
The Neely House
The Michael Neely Center for Brain Tumor Care and Research
The Neely Center for Clinical Cancer Research and
The Neely Cell Therapy andCollection Center.
Cam Neely, his family, and the other employees at the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care will always have a special place in our heart.