In March 2009, Mike McNeil died at age 27 after a courageous, 17-year battle with a rare cancer. Mike’s friends, fraternity brothers and family established the Mike McNeil Organization, which hosts fundraising events in his name.
“Mike lived life to its fullest,” writes Kelly Bryant, his cousin. “Mike made many friends during his short life who have become part of our family. We’re keeping Mike’s spirit alive.”
True to Mike, the events bring people together for a good time. They include a Crawl for a Cure through pubs in Lowell, Mass., Mike’s hometown, and a Fall Classic murder mystery dinner. Many local companies are sponsors and donors.
In 2009, the nonprofit donated $7,500 to the Mass General Cancer Center, where Mike was treated by its director, Daniel Haber, MD, PhD. Events in 2010 raised $10,000 for the Haber Lab; the Angels Above Fund, which eases the lives of children with cancer; and Moore Mart, which sends care packages to overseas troops.
In his blog, Mike advised friends, “Love every moment you have on earth and don’t take it for granted.”