Blog: Fundraiser tonight for seriously ill physician-to-be

2012-11-02T06:45:00Z Blog: Fundraiser tonight for seriously ill physician-to-beStephanie Innes ARIZONA DAILY STAR Arizona Daily Star
November 02, 2012 6:45 am  • 

It's not the kind of news any 41-year-old would expect, let alone someone who has never smoked.

Derek Neal, a second-year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and married father of two, is coping with a diagnosis of advanced-stage lung cancer.

His friends, family and UA colleagues have banded together to raise money for Derek's family, which will allow Derek's wife, Sylvia to stay home from work while he is so ill.

There's a fundraiser this afternoon and tonight -  3 to 10 p.m.  (Friday, Nov. 2 ) at Texas Roadhouse, 170 S. Wilmot Road. Ten percent of all sales will go to help the Neal family.

Attendees must present an event flier with their order. Neal’s friends will be handing out fliers at the door. For information, contact Rose Harris at

Neal, 41, is a registered nurse, who spent six years working in the pediatric intensive care unit at the UA's Diamond Children's Medical Center before starting medical school, was diagnosed over the Labor Day weekend with Stage 4 nonsmokers’ lung cancer.

The cancer has metastasized to his adrenal glands, bones and brain. He is on an aggressive treatment plan. Though his brain lesions have shrunk, they have not disappeared, he learned this week. Neal and his family are doing their best to stay optimistic and to treat the cancer with both mainstream and alternative medicine.

More information about Neal is available at the Team Derek website:

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