Brian Kelly

Volunteer at Children’s Nebraska Hospital in Omaha
Class of 1997
Brian Kelly volunteers at Children’s Nebraska Hospital in Omaha, where he has clocked more than 2,000 volunteer hours since 2017.

Brian attended Moraine Valley after graduating from high school and participated in numerous extra curricular activities. He was elected the student trustee and had the opportunity to meet with former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar, who invited him to be the first community college student to serve on the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

He later participated in a White House internship as part of President Bill Clinton’s advance staff. He was responsible for advance preparations for presidential domestic and international visits. Brian was later named to head national media logistics for the Gore-Lieberman 2000 campaign.

He then worked as a network researcher for NBC News in New York, where he researched breaking news, planned stories, and assisted senior editors and news staff. Brian realized he needed additional education to move ahead in the industry, so he returned to Illinois to complete his bachelor’s degree.

On Dec. 26, 2001, he was involved in a serious car accident that changed the trajectory of his life. Brian was not expected to survive due to his extensive injuries. After emerging from a coma, he had to relearn everything because he suffered a traumatic brain injury.

After several years of intensive therapy, Brian moved to QLI, a world-renowned rehabilitation center in Omaha, Nebraska. He made incredible progress and moved into the center’s assisted living facility, where he continues to reside and helps train new staff members.

He began volunteering at Immanuel Medical Center in 2007 and volunteered for nearly 6,000 hours over several years before he began volunteering at Children’s Nebraska Hospital, where he now helps families with children requiring medical attention.

As a strong advocate for traumatic brain injury awareness, Brian has spoken on the topic at QLI, Northwestern Medicine’s Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital and the 2005 Illinois Trauma Doctors Conference. He recently returned to Moraine Valley to speak to a communications class about his experience.

Brian and his family’s Muldowney Foundation have raised over $330,000 to send people to brain injury camp and help families with mental health-related expenses. They also have worked with the Silver Ribbon Coalition to promote mental health awareness, and Brian met with Sen. Ted Kenndy about the mission to have a Silver Ribbon postage stamp created.

The Ronald McDonald House in Omaha recognized Brian for collecting over 1 million pop tops to help the facility.

Brian’s large family includes his father, two brothers, a sister, many extended family members, his Little Flower High School family and members of his QLI family.