Skip to main content
Banner: MGH blog - Young woman’s life and death inspires family to create fund for healing eating disorders

Young woman’s life and death inspires family to create fund for healing eating disorders

Fund will help patients at Melrose Center

The Clare Susan Humphrey Memorial Endowment Fund at Park Nicollet Foundation carries on the legacy of a young woman who loved life and cared deeply about helping other people heal from eating disorders. Clare was a force of nature. She was smart, well-spoken and lively. And she loved people.

“She was the definition of an extrovert,” said her father Andrew Humphrey. “She drew her energy from other people and gave that energy back.”

Melrose Center cared for Clare throughout a ten-year battle with eating disorders and depression. During treatment, she channeled her charming nature and love for people into finding ways to help others with eating disorders.

“She had a high degree of empathy,” said her mother Alison Humphrey. “She was able to recognize what other people needed. Throughout her treatment at Melrose Center, she would find ways to help people with housing, transportation or anything that might prevent them from getting treatment.”

Image: MGH Blog - Clare Humphrey and her mother Alison Clare Humphrey, right, with her mother, Alison

“She had a fiery sense of justice and injustice,” Andrew said. “She believed it was wrong when someone struggled to afford something they really needed. She did everything she could to help them.”

Sadly, Clare died in 2017 at the age of 26.

Alison and Andrew established the Clare Susan Humphrey Memorial Endowment Fund at Park Nicollet Foundation to honor Clare’s passion for helping others. The fund helps reduce the economic barriers that can prevent patients and families from accessing care.

“This fund is a permanent source of funding to support Melrose Center patients in need,” said Park Nicollet Foundation Executive Director Beth Warner. “We hope that others in our community will join us in contributing to help more patients.”

“This is an awful disease. We know that treating eating disorders is very challenging,” Alison said. “It’s collaborative; the whole family goes into treatment. It is so important to follow the treatment plan to the end. Economic barriers can make it too easy to say ‘I don’t really need to continue care. The bus fare is too expensive, so I’m just going to skip this time.’ We want to remove any financial reasons for staying away from care.”

The fund will support patients in need with:

  • vouchers for transportation
  • therapeutic meals
  • nutritional services
  • specialized classes
  • housing
  • hotel services for out-of-state patients
  • translation services
  • music and art therapy

“The staff at Melrose Center loved Clare. We are grateful for the wonderful care she received. All patients should be able to benefit fully from this care,” Alison said.

In her last week of life, Clare had a new apartment and was determined to finish her final year of college. Days before she died, she told her parents that her theme song was the Rachel Platten hit “Fight Song.” She had big dreams and was often frustrated that her illness stopped her from achieving them. Her parents assured her that her experiences made her who she was and would enable her to help others.

“This fund is our way of helping her do that,” Andrew said. “Knowing that we can help other families helps us feel connected to Clare. We are grateful that we can continue her vision. We want families to know that helping them would make Clare happy.”

Image: MGH Blog - Clare Humphrey and her father Andrew Clare, left, with her father, Andrew Humphrey

The Humphreys’ vision is to see this fund grow with gifts from other generous donors.

“Resources that financially support people seeking treatment for eating disorders are scarce and need is high,” Warner said. “In 2017, more than 2,700 people sought care at Melrose Center and numbers continue to grow. This fund will help so many of our patients and families heal and have access to the help they need.”


Help patients with eating disorders overcome barriers to care. Donate to the Clare Susan Humphrey Memorial Endowment Fund.

Back to top