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Monday, July 24, 2017

Brandeis grads raise funds to help injured friend

Correction appended.

Friends remember Eduardo Keane ’14, M.S. ’15 as someone who would go out of his way to help others. Now, those friends are returning the favor by raising money to cover his medical bills and travel expenses after Keane suffered a life-threatening fall in Thailand last month.

In Thailand on vacation after visiting his sister in Singapore, Keane fell from a vertical cliff face at Railay Bay during a climb and was rushed to First Standard Clinic in Krabi Province via speedboat, according to a June 28 Phuket Gazette article.

Four of his friends — Ethan Harris ’16, Eli Kaminsky ’16, Cameron Wolfe ’16 and Genevieve Oliveira ’15 — created a GoFundMe page to help his family cover his medical bills and bring him back to the United States.

Keane suffered multiple injuries in the fall, including a skull fracture that has resulted in a coma, according to the GoFundMe. He underwent a decompressive craniectomy to relieve pressure on his swollen brain, an update on the page read.

For his friends, the decision to help Keane was an easy one, because they knew he would do the same for them if the roles were reversed.

“He’s my brother,” Oliveira wrote in an email to the Justice. “We always have so much fun together, but the memories that speak to Eduardo’s character the most are the ones where he dropped everything he was doing to be there for others.”

Oliveira wrote that Keane was always patient when talking to her family members — then recent immigrants — and answering their questions about living in the United States. She also recalled one night from her first year at Brandeis, during which Keane went out of his way to cheer Oliveira up and give her a taste of home.

“I wasn’t having an easy time adjusting to college and despite having to study for his own test, he biked over to a Brazilian market in the freezing winter, got all the ingredients to make the one Brazilian dessert that would always cheer me up, came over to my dorm in Massel [sic], made me the food and played the silliest Brazilian songs that always cheered me up,” she wrote.

The GoFundMe has already raised $69,924 of an $80,000 goal as of press time, and the friends plan to continue fundraising as long as the family wants them to, Oliveira wrote. The fundraiser has garnered donations from 1,155 people from around the world in just 11 days.

In the meantime, Keane’s friends and family are optimistic about his progress and eventual return home.

“Eduardo is making steady progress, both physically and neurologically,” Oliveira wrote, “and we are hoping that he can come home through a medivac early next week!”

A previous version of this article reported that Keane had helped Oliveira's parents, who were recent immigrants to the United States. It was actually her other family members that had recently immigrated. 

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