East Greenwich - Eugene "Neil" Fachon, a student & philosopher, who was born May 8th, 1996 passed away on February 19th, 2017.
A chess champion, soccer player and tennis player, Neil attended East Greenwich High School and graduated in 2014. The following year he attended Northeastern University's College of Engineering. Neil was a member of "SLTP", the Student Leadership Training Program he participated in for several years, as well as an avid advocate for the "Jester and Pharley Phund", a program to spread joy and good cheer to children battling deadly disease. Neil was very fond of reading "The Jester Lost His Jingle" to children.
In March of last year, Neil was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, "DIPG." Given a dire prognosis, Neil elected to participate in a clinical trial which helped extend his life by several months more than the experts at Mass General and DANA Farber predicted was likely. Neil's story made national news when he fought in court for his right to maintain treatment in the wake of the FDA's attempt to shut down the trial retroactively. Neil's lawyer won the battle, but it came at great cost to the momentum of Neil's treatment, as well as heaping unimaginable stress on a young man already fighting the Fight of his life. Neil soldiered on nonetheless, ever optimistic, humorous and full of Love for Life, Family, Friends and our shared World.
While being treated for his own disease, Neil delivered several "The Jester Lost His Jingle" books to children being treated at the Burzynski Clinic. Neil was all about helping others and finding silver linings. He will be sorely missed, but his story will be told in hopes of clearing a smoother path for those caught in similar predicaments.
Neil leaves behind his mother and father: Wendy & Dean Fachon; sister: Evie; paternal grandfather: Eugene Fachon; maternal grandmother: Ellie Nadherny and several aunts, uncles and cousins, as well as friends all over the world. He was welcomed into his eternal home by his grandparents Carolyn Fachon and Ferdinand Nadherny. His spirit will endure.
Neil's life will be celebrated at calling hours on Friday, March 10 from 5:00 – 8:00 PM at Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home & Crematory, 659 East Greenwich Avenue, West Warwick and during a memorial service at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 99 Peirce Street, East Greenwich on Saturday, March 11 at 11:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations made to: The Jester & Pharley Phund, P.O. Box 817, Palo Verdes Estates, CA 90274 (www.thejester.org) and/or to: Camp Sunshine, 35 Acadia Road, Casco, ME 04015 (www.campsunshine.org). Both of these organizations bring joy to children with life threatening illnesses. Condolences may be offered and remembrances shared online at carpenterjenks.com.
The Jester & Pharley Phund is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping children with cancer and other serious illnesses with the inspiration of David Saltzman's award-winning book entitled "The Jester Has Lost His Jingle". David's New York Times best-seller continues to give hope and humor to children nationwide. The Jester book and doll have been bringing smiles into the lives of thousands of children coping with serious illness. David wrote and illustated The Jester as his senior project at Yale University before his death from Hodgkin's disease in 1990. His desire was to give The Jester, with its upbeat and hopeful message, to children facing serious challenges.
Founded in 1984, Camp Sunshine provides retreats combining respite, recreation and support, while enabling hope and promoting joy, for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families through the various stages of a child's illness.
Camp Sunshine is the only program in the nation offered year-round with the distinction of having been designed to serve the entire family in a retreat model. The program is free of charge to families and includes on-site medical and psychosocial support. Bereavement sessions are also offered for families who have experienced the death of a child from a supported illness.