SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

January 6, 2014

Letter: Giving during a season of love

To the editor:

On the evening of Nov. 16, more than 300 people attended the second annual Love is Magic event at the Holy Ghost Function Hall on Howley Street in Peabody. The people who attended the event celebrated the life of our son, Neal Jr., and showed their support of the Neal O’Brien Jr. Love is Magic Foundation. Neal was diagnosed with brain cancer as a 6-year-old boy during the summer of 1991. By Christmas of that same year, he was released from Children’s Hospital to hospice care. Remarkably, 22 years later, Neal continues to inspire his family, friends and community with his determination, resilience and grace in dealing with life challenges.

The event was truly a magical night with a function hall filled with people sharing their love for Neal and in the joy of celebrating his life. We are so appreciative of the support from many individuals and businesses who contributed donations of raffle, silent raffle and live auction items. The event would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of the many committee members who worked and prepared for several months in order to make the night so special.

The Neal O’Brien Jr. Love is Magic Foundation was established to honor Neal’s courage and determination, as well as to help support children and families of children dealing with life-threatening illnesses or injuries. The outpouring of support for Love is Magic has allowed the foundation to help children treated at Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, while honoring our special son.

The Christmas season can be many things, but above all else, it is a season of love. The O’Brien family wishes to extend our thanks to everyone who contributed in making the second annual Love is Magic event a great success.

Wishing all a happy, healthy and peaceful new year.

Neal, Nancy, Neal Jr. and Maura O’Brien

Peabody

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