Michael Neal

Atypical Multiple Myeloma

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Michael Neal's Bio

{Bio Update  December 2018}
Michael Thomas Neal, 50, was born at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland as the son of a decorated Marine Corps war hero of the Vietnam War. He was raised in Montgomery County, Maryland until the age of 12 when his family relocated to the beautiful agricultural community of Walkersville, Maryland. This is where he currently resides with his wife, Kerrie, and his step-daughter Maddelena.

After an extended period of not feeling well and intense medical investigation, Michael was diagnosed with what was thought to be a rare incurable blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma, which accounts for only 1% of all cancer cases annually. According to experts at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, the type of cancer Michael has is generally considered to be a far more complex and aggressive hematologic malignancy than just typical multiple myeloma. The doctors at NIH diagnosed him with IgA lambda CD138 negative, CD20 positive atypical multiple myeloma, and it has also been called atypical plasmactyic/lymphoplasmacytic CD138 negative, CD20 positive multiple myeloma, which is an unusual type of blood cancer that shares characteristics of both lymphoma and myeloma.

Michael has received treatment in Maryland and New York City. He started induction chemotherapy at John’s Hopkins Hospital in July of 2014 and received chemotherapy for 6 – 8 months prior to having an autologous stem-cell transplant at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC in February 2015, which put him into a remission for only 13 months.

Since relapsing he has been receiving chemotherapy at Johns Hopkins, and he will require continuous chemotherapy indefinitely. The continuous chemotherapy has weakened his immune system and he frequently suffers complications as a result. Due to persistent and recurring infections in his large intestine, Michael underwent surgery to remove one and a half feet of his large intestine in April of 2018.

Michael was working as a government contractor supporting programs for the Department of Defense and the intelligence community but has been unable to work and is currently on disability due to his illness. This has significantly reduced his household income and added to the overwhelming stress of the illness and day-to-day life. In addition, the costs associated with treatment and travel to Baltimore has quickly added up. These additional expenses have put a far greater burden on his family financially.

We hope that through the efforts of family and friends that we can help ease the stress of these financial burdens by raising money to help his family through these difficult times. Thank you for your time.