Archie McNealy was born in the Overtown projects in Miami, FL. He lost both of his parents as a young boy and was raised by his grandmother, who herself had many health issues. Archie attended a variety of public schools in the Liberty City and Overtown areas of Miami, where he excelled scholastically, but lacked the opportunity to get the education he required to realize his potential.
After being selected to participate in the Summerbridge program, an intensive summer program on the RE campus geared toward high performing students from undeserved areas, Archie was offered a place at Ransom Everglades School.
At RE, Archie was a solid student, athlete, and became one of the most well-liked students on campus. He made lifelong friends and plans that included going to college and starting his professional life. That life was put on hold when he was diagnosed with cancer.
Archie was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in July of 2004. For the past nine years Archie has endured consistent chemotherapy, radiation, experimental drug treatments, and failed surgical procedures. On December 4th, 2012, Archie was a week away from undergoing a last resort, high-risk umbilical-cord transplant. A routine blood test revealed that he could not get the transplant because he now has Acute Myeloid Leukemia in addition to Lymphoma. As he continues to receive treatment we hope and pray that he will be able to get a transplant with a perfectly matched adult donor. In addition to fighting Leukemia and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma he is also advocating for others by asking more people to register as donors.
“I just want to make sure that nobody around me feels sad for me or hurts. I will be fine. I am at peace with my life, and just want to take the time to make it count. I want to LIVE my life” – Archie McNealy