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Portsmouth police raising money for sergeant's son, who is fighting cancer

Union Leader Correspondent

February 07. 2018 3:54PM
Police are raising money to support pediatric cancer patient Brooks Keaveny and his family. Keaveny's father is a sergeant at the Portsmouth Police Department. (Courtesy)

PORTSMOUTH – Police on the Seacoast are rallying in support for Portsmouth Police Sgt. Dave Keaveny, who has a son that is fighting pediatric cancer.

Two-year-old Brooks Keaveny, of Eliot, Maine, was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 neuroblastoma and is undergoing treatment at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

According to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, neuroblastoma is a very rare type of cancerous tumor that almost always affects children. Tumors generally develop in the adrenal glands located on top of the kidneys, but the cancer can spread to the chest, spine, spinal cord regions and abdomen.

Each year, 800 new cases are diagnosed in the United States. Most children are diagnosed before the age of 5, according to St. Jude.

Environmental factors do not seem to play a role in the development of the pediatric cancer, according to St. Jude.

On Wednesday, Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Merner said Keaveny is the type of officer who puts his heart and soul into helping the elderly and afflicted members of the community.

Keaveny works particularly hard on addiction recovery efforts, according to Lt. Darrin Sargent. In 2016, he was honored with a Community Involvement Award from McDonald’s restaurants after he helped coordinate a Community Access to Recovery Day.

Keaveny also appeared in two public service announcements to raise awareness about drug and alcohol abuse.

Sargent said Keaveny is the type of person who is always there for others, working above and beyond his 40-hour week.

“He’s one of the most professional people I have ever known,” Sargent said.

Keaveny is using sick time to be with Brooks, but he and his wife, Bryn, will be facing some serious expenses during treatment. Medical bills, transportation, food and lodging will be a burden on the family of four, Det. Seth Tondreault said.

Tondreault set up a page for Brooks Keaveny Tuesday. In 22 hours, almost $29,000 had already been raised.

“It speaks volumes about the kind of community we serve,” Tondreault said.

The Portsmouth Police Department and neighboring departments were sharing the link to the fundraising page on social media Wednesday morning. Merner said he was not surprised by the immediate response.

“This is a profession where we are a big family, an international family,” Merner said.

Donations are being collected by the Portsmouth Police Relief Association and given directly to the Keaveny family. Anyone wishing to donate in person can do so at the police department on Junkins Avenue.

Donations may be made at:

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