"His will to fight is unmatched," Kenny Carpenter says of his longtime friend, Colin Clive

By Joelle Goldstein
January 22, 2021 08:45 PM
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Colin Clive with his parents Barbara and Dave Clive
| Credit: Courtesy Kenneth Carpenter

A Long Island man who is currently fighting brain cancer has been dealt with an unimaginable tragedy — twice over — after losing both of his parents in less than a week.

Colin Clive was 26-years-old when he received the devastating news that he was diagnosed with brain cancer, his friend Kenny Carpenter tells PEOPLE.

Now 28, and in the midst of his cancer battle, Colin has been hit with more heartbreak: the sudden, back-to-back deaths of his parents, Barbara and Dave Clive.

"It's unfathomable what happened to him," says Carpenter, 28, who set up a GoFundMe for Colin after growing close with him while playing lacrosse together at Siena College.

Adds fellow friend and teammate, Richie Hurley: "It's a complete shock, loss of words. No one deserves this, but especially not a guy as big-hearted and genuine as Colin."

Colin Clive with Kenny Carpenter
| Credit: Courtesy Kenneth Carpenter

Prior to his diagnosis, Carpenter says Colin, a resident of Massapequa and graduate of St. Anthony's High School, was pursuing a degree in finance at Siena College.

In 2014, he graduated from college and went on to work at the insurance company, Arch Capital Group, in Philadelphia.

After about a year, Colin returned to New York, where he would spend his free time playing lacrosse on summer leagues with friends, and on the national level for Team England.

In Oct. 2018, while attending a Harlem Lacrosse Benefit, Carpenter says Colin suddenly started feeling unwell.

"He had delusion, dizziness, headaches, loss of memory," he recalls. "A week later, he had to be rushed to the emergency room because he was having a seizure, at which point they diagnosed him as having brain cancer."

"For the size of the tumor that he had, it was there for quite some time and growing. And the pressure that it was putting on his brain caused all of this," he adds.

Colin Clive
| Credit: Courtesy Kenneth Carpenter

Almost immediately, Carpenter rallied his friends around Colin, offering to help where they could, despite being completely shocked by his diagnosis.

"Hearing that Colin had cancer was the last thing I would've ever expected," Hurley, 28, says. "I was a little bit in shock, and didn't know what to do or how to process it."

"Nobody knew the extent of it or how much of a toll it had taken on him and his body, and what his treatment was gonna be," he adds. "There were a lot of questions and unknowns at first, but as time went on, we were able to talk to Colin... and see the next steps."

Colin's parents were also a huge support, with his father Dave, 70, often "dropping everything at work to take Colin to appointments, no matter how long he needed to stay, and doing whatever he could to support him," Carpenter says.

Over the next two years, Colin continued to receive chemotherapy and even recently underwent what appears to be a successful experimental treatment, according to Carpenter.

But then tragedy struck.

Colin Clive on Team England
| Credit: Courtesy Kenneth Carpenter

On Jan. 12, Colin's mom Barbara, 66, was hospitalized.

"We received a text that Mrs. Clive is in the hospital, and then fast-forward four hours, we received another text saying Mrs. Clive passed away from pneumonia complications," Carpenter recalls.

Four days later, Colin learned that his dad — the sole provider for their family — had suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital.

Doctors put a stent in Dave and released him on Jan. 17, but the following day — the same day as Colin's mom's wake — Dave had another heart attack that he sadly did not survive.

"It's a horror story that you can't imagine," Carpenter says, noting that Colin has been "in shock and heartbroken" since his parents' passing.

"To even imagine the trauma this kid has had to deal with, while also having to fight one of the worst things that could happen to a person is unimaginable," he adds.

Adds Hurley: "The priest said at his mom's wake that he's never heard anything quite as tragic as this, and that's kinda how we all feel."

Colin Clive with his lacrosse team at Siena College
| Credit: Courtesy Kenneth Carpenter

With both of his parents now gone and no immediate family nearby, Colin is facing a growing list of living expenses, including the house they all lived in, plus his medical bills.

Carpenter is hoping people from the Long Island community and beyond can donate to the GoFundMe page in order to help ease that growing list.

"Our ultimate goal is to make sure that Colin focuses on crushing this cancer," Carpenter explains. "He can leave the finances and bills to us because we're ready to step up and we want to take care of Colin... his immediate family is all of us right now. We consider him our brother."

In just two days, the page has raised over $392,000, and continues to grow — which Colin's friends say have served as a huge source of inspiration as he battles cancer.

"There are 5,000 people that have donated and that means the world to Colin," Carpenter says. "People he's never even heard of are donating and each person is another person that joins his fight with all of us. He sees that and it really increases his will to fight."

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Adds Colin's friend from high school, Leo Wetter: "It genuinely helps his spirit... no one can put themselves in his shoes right now, but the help he's given right now, you can see it all over his face, even though he's dealing with brain cancer and the loss of both of parents when he has no siblings and no immediate family close by."

No matter what else is thrown his way, Carpenter says Colin is determined to beat his cancer — and will do it with a smile on his face, as he has done for the past two difficult years.

"He's inspiring," Carpenter notes. "Every day, he wakes up with a smile on his face knowing he could end up back in the hospital. His will to fight is unmatched beyond belief and he really is a trooper."

Those interested in donating to Colin's GoFundMe page can so do here.