Former Siena lacrosse player Clive loses parents, but brain cancer fight continues

Former Siena lacrosse player Colin Clive, back row left, poses with teammates in 2014. Provided

Former Siena lacrosse player Colin Clive, back row left, poses with teammates in 2014. Provided

The double funeral was on Monday.

The appointment was for 8:30 Tuesday morning.

Colin Clive vowed to be there.

With every reason in the world to skip it, he vowed to be there.

Clive graduated from Siena College in 2014, having played four stellar seasons of lacrosse, then settled in nicely to a business career, with an office in Manhattan. His friend and teammate, Kenny Carpenter, said the Saints never hesitated to pass the ball to the dependable Clive when the net was in front of him.

Then with the world in front of him, Clive was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2018.

The 28-year-old from Massapequa continues to attack his treatment and recovery, but now will do so without the support of his parents, Barbara and Dave, each of whom has died in the last two weeks, a sequence to make your head swim in disbelief.

Barbara Clive was hospitalized on Jan. 12 and died of pneumonia complications at the age of 66, then Dave Clive, 70, suffered a heart attack four days later. Doctors implanted a stent, but he was hit with another heart attack, this time fatal, on Jan. 17 — the day of Barbara’s wake.

The Siena lacrosse community had already rallied around Colin in his fight with brain cancer, and now that network of support has expanded exponentially, after Carpenter and some other friends set up a GoFundMe account to defray medical and living expenses for Colin, who has no surviving immediate family.

They have to keep pushing the goalposts back.

As of Tuesday morning, the total stood at over $710,000 from over 11,000 donors, with the target amount set at $750,000 after multiple adjustments.

“The response is heart-warming, it really is,” Carpenter said on Monday afternoon, hours after attending the funeral for Colin’s parents. “I love that. People ask me why I keep increasing the goal, and me and the other guys went into this, we really didn’t know what our goal was.

“How do you put a value on the rest of a person’s life? Colin shouldn’t have to worry about anything. That’s why we’re here. We want to take care of him. Priority No. 1 is beating this cancer.”

Clive made the All-MAAC first team as a junior in 2013 and the second team as a senior.

He and Carpenter both graduated from St. Anthony’s on Long Island, and Carpenter said Barbara and Dave Clive were like second parents to him, a friendly presence at Siena games.

Colin Clive was able to stay involved in lacrosse after graduation, through summer leagues and the English National Team.

In 2018, he began to suffer headaches, delusion, memory loss and dizziness, and the cancer diagnosis came after a seizure.

“To receive that type of call about a 25-year-old is truly unthinkable,” Carpenter said. “I kind of just sat back at my desk and said, ‘There’s just no way. This can’t be true.’ Then once I let it sink in, we came together and said, ‘We accept this, but what’s the next step? We’re going to beat this.’

“And every single day that we ask Colin how he’s doing, he says, ‘I’m good, I’m going to beat this.’ Colin’s will has gotten him through this, and he’s not going to stop. He’s an absolute fighter.”

“He’s been just unbelievable through it,” second-year Siena head coach Liam Gleason said. “We’ve been kind of sponsoring it in a way, wearing the ‘CC’ on the helmet and bringing him up here for games since I got here. He understands the stuff he’s been dealt.

“He talks about it. We don’t sidestep it, and moreso than ever, when I talk to him, he’s still asking about how the team’s doing. Just an unbelievable person who’s been dealt a tough deck of cards.”

According to the GoFundMe page, Clive has begun an experimental treatment to stave off metastatic brain cancer.

His father had stayed employed despite being well past retirement age to stay eligible for health insurance.

Unused funds from the GoFundMe will be donated to the National Brain Tumor Society in the Clive family name.

After the events of the past two weeks, Siena  held a virtual prayer service last Friday. Naturally, Colin remains in a state of shock, Carpenter said. Because of COVID restrictions, there was an attendance cap on the joint funeral Monday, so the service was livestreamed for those who couldn’t be there in person.

“The homily the priest gave, he said he didn’t know how to explain what happened and why this would ever happen,” Carpenter said. “But to see how everyone was able to rally around Colin and how we are all his family, we truly are.

“Every single practice up at Siena for four years, six days a week, we broke down by saying, ‘Family.’ And it shows right now. Like, we mean it. We didn’t just say it to say it. If one brother goes down, someone’s going to be there to pick you up. And we’re picking Colin up, just like he’s picked us up in the past. We’re all here for him.”

“Nobody in the world deserves what he’s gone through,” Gleason said. “When it comes down to it, this is a young man who’s done everything right. I don’t know. You’re given that many body blows and that many shots, I believe in the higher power here, but this is a tough one.

“I know he’s taken aback by how many people have come to his aid. It helps that people are reporting on it, but also shows the lacrosse community, and the Siena community and how many people he’s touched in his life. It’s a special thing. He’s going to need it.”

The GoFundMe page is titled simply “Clive Family.”

After everything Colin has been through and continues to face, the world, somehow, is still in front of him.

Carpenter said Colin had an 8:30 treatment appointment Tuesday morning and was determined not to miss it.

“He’s kind-hearted, he’s strong when others aren’t, he’s brave. He’s brave,” Carpenter said. “Look what he’s doing right now. One of the greatest kids I know. He’s empathetic. And he’s driven. He’s definitely driven.

“We just got back from the funeral. If you think about the trauma this kid’s been through, having to bury both of his parents on Monday, and then tomorrow getting the will power to go have treatment done and continue this fight with cancer, it’s really remarkable.

“He’s not stopping. He’s not giving up. Yeah, he’s waking up tomorrow, 8:30 he’s going to the hospital and taking this thing on again.”

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