Cam Neely Foundation teams up with Bruins players, celebrities to raise money for help cancer patients through 2020

Faced with fundraising challenges in the pandemic, legendary Bruin Cam Neely is running an online campaign to raise $88,000 by the end of year to support cancer patients and their families through the Cam Neely Foundation.
“Everybody has been touched by cancer in one form or another, and just because of the pandemic, doesn’t mean people aren’t in need. If you’re a family member of a loved one going through it, you know what the challenges are — they’re even more so now,” Neely told the Herald.
The campaign is called the “8 for 8 Challenge” and it’s simple: Donate $8 to the Foundation in honor of Neely’s jersey number, announce it on social media, and nominate someone else to do the same.
So far, Boston Bruins players Brad Marchand and David Pasternak have joined celebrities Michael J. Fox, Jimmy Fallon, and Dennis Leary in participating.
Neely serves as president of the foundation, which he started with Dennis Leary in 1995 in honor of his parents Marlene and Michael Neely. Both died after battling cancer.
The pandemic has challenged the Boston-based foundation both operationally and financially in 2020. Cancer and immune therapy patients undergoing treatment at Tufts Medical Center can usually stay at the beautiful bed-and-breakfast-style Neely House within the hospital campus, but it was forced to close in March as the first wave of COVID-19 surged through Boston.
The Foundation quickly pivoted the accommodations for frontline workers too exhausted to shuttle back and forth between the hospital and their homes during the spring and summer.
“We transformed the House into a wellness center for Tufts Medical Center during the crisis,” Neely shared. “For the amount of staff, doctors, and nurses and the shifts — it was a place they could rest instead of running back home and having to run back.”
The accommodations reopened to patients in July, but the forced cancellation of events was a major blow to fundraising. The backbone of the charity’s contributions come from two major events: a golf tournament held in June, and a comedy show called “Comics Come Home,” held in November.
Celebrities who have performed the show in years past took to social media to urge others to donate to the challenge.
“This year would have been the 26th anniversary of the show, and I know everyone’s upset we can’t do it this year, can’t perform for all of you. I miss being in Boston on stage. I love Boston so much,” comedian Jimmy Fallon said in an Instagram video.
“I loved it every year. I go every year, stand backstage, and look out at all your crazy Bostonians,” actor Michael J. Fox said in an Instagram video.
The Neely Foundation has expanded research and care at Tufts Medical Center in areas of treatment for colon cancer, brain cancer and various pediatric cancers.
Funds raised through the challenge will also provide nutritional support for cancer and immune therapy patients through the new Neely Integrative Center, based on scientific evidence that it can impact treatment outcomes.
 

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