JAMES CITY COUNTY — For the common person, attending a prestigious Ivy League institution like Harvard University would be enough to keep one busy.
Now add being on that school’s football team. This means practices, conditioning and weight training alongside the already stressful trappings of being a Harvard student.
While that might seem to be more than enough for anyone, Harvard sophomore and tight end, Tyler Neville, decided that this would be a good time to start a foundation dedicated to helping children who are going through cancer treatment.
It is not a stretch to figure out why Tyler decided to start the Tyler Neville Foundation.
When he was 15-years-old, Tyler was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was forced to sit out from football and basketball during his first two years at Lafayette High School. However, Tyler was able to make enough of an impact as a tight end during his junior and senior years in order to catch the attention of several Division I football programs.
As far as he has come from the days of chemotherapy and almost 20 surgeries, Tyler never forgot the support he received from the community. He knew that one day he was going to give back.
So sitting in his Harvard dorm room in Boston last spring, Tyler started his foundation with his parents. Its primary mission is to help children who are undergoing treatment, to keep being kids.
“We like to see ourselves as make a wish on more local scale,” Tyler said of the foundation. “We are going to have these events and raise money. I also want to meet with these kids one on one, who are going through what I went through, and see what I can possibly do to make that experience easier.”
This Saturday, Aug. 14, the foundation’s subset, Athletes Against Lymphoma, will put on its very first event at the Warhill Sports Complex, 3on3 B-Ball Tournament. The event will benefit cancer patients at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk.
The tournament was originally supposed to take place back in June but was postponed due to inclement weather.
The event on Saturday will take place rain or shine according to Tyler. There are still plenty of slots open for anyone who is interesting in enter a team. The tournament starts at 1 p.m. and there are two different brackets. The adult bracket for ages 15 and older is $100 per team. The youth bracket for ages 10-14 is $75.
There will be Kona Ice will be on hand selling concessions as well as a DJ and a photographers.