Neil was working as a defense-contractor recruiter when in 2005 his oldest son, Sam, was diagnosed with a lethal cancer, neuroblastoma, at the tender age of 5.
Neil worked tirelessly, devoting all his time to saving Sam’s life. His unrelenting efforts were featured in a story in the Wall Street Journal. At the same time, Neil established the Magic Water Project, a non-profit organization to fund trials for rare childhood cancers. Through this non-profit foundation, Neil funded more than $1 million in research at leading US cancer research centers.
Sam fought his disease bravely against all odds, but sadly succumbed to his disease on March 12th, 2010 at the age of 10. Neil and his wife Margot created a website to commemorate Sam, who dearly loved sports, aptly named TeamSam.
During its years of activity, Magic Water funded pediatric cancer research at:
One of the cancer research projects Magic Water helped fund was the repurposed drug DFMO, usually used to treat African Sleeping Sickness. Thanks to Sam, this research has benefited and given hope to many children with cancer.
Neil writes: “A friend of mine who lost a daughter to neuroblastoma almost three years ago told me there is not a “before Sam and after Sam”; he told me that there is a “before Sam and Because of Sam”. Well, this is a “Because of Sam” story. I hope this treatment helps other kids. And if it does, it’s because of a beautiful little boy with red hair who loved school and every sport and was the best big brother imaginable. It would be Because of Sam….
During the course of Sam’s battle with cancer, Neil met Moshe Rogosnitzky who helped him with priceless information about repurposed drugs and new treatment possibilities. Neil became a founding board member of We Fund The Cure.
Neil says: “I am here because of Sam. I am committed to ensure that no child will have to undergo what Sam did”.