RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Eight years ago, the nine year old daughter of former NFL player Emanuel McNeil passed away from brain cancer. Ever since then, McNeil welcomes many of his NFL friends to his hometown of Richmond for a golf tournament to raise awareness about the battle against childhood cancer.
But the highlight of the event is not the morning tee time. It's the afternoon where he gets to visit the place where he spent many sleepless nights with his ailing daughter.
Moriah McNeil went to MCV for the treatment of her cancer until she succumbed to the disease in 2004. Her father remembers one day when he was by her bedside that members of the University of Richmond football team came into the hospital to raise the spirits of the patients and their families.
So after Moriah passed on, Emanuel has returned the favor. He brings his former NFL buddies into the hospital, and they sign cards for the kids, and take pictures and give high-fives. It's an emotional day, not just for the kids, but also for the men. McNeil says some of the guys that come into town will not go on the visit, because they are so overcome with emotion.
But even though McNeil spent so many tough nights in the hospital, it is a joy for him to go and help others the way the former Spiders did for him.
You can learn more about the golf tournament and charity by visiting www.moriahmcneilgolfclassic.org.