“Played the first record which was, Rose garden by Lynn Anderson,” Neal recounts, “it was just a statement to let everybody know we were a country radio station and been there ever since.”
Larry Neal will never forget the first time he signed on at KRWQ. It was a Saturday in August of 1980. 37 years later and each day is as good as the last.
“It’s what I love to do,” Neal says.
But Larry’s been off the airwaves for the last few months, after some numbness in his legs sent him to the doctor for an MRI.
“Around the first of the year I had an MRI, and they discovered a tumor on my spine,” Neal says.
Surgery soon followed, and the diagnosis was cancer. A rare form called glioblastoma. He calls the diagnosis, ironic, considering one of the biggest campaign’s he was a part of centered around raising money for kids battling rare cancers like the one he is now. It’s their stories, that keep him strong.
“If they can do it,” Neal says, “I can do it.”
But Larry won’t be fighting this battle alone. When his coworkers past and present learned of the diagnosis, they jumped into action.
“It’s been hard for all of us to deal with that,” Neal’s former morning show partner Brian Bishop says, “and I think that’s why so many people wanted to do something.”
This weekend they’ll host a nights-long event to raise money to support Larry and his family.
“We knew what hospital stays cost and even though he was insured we know there are deductibles and other expenses,” Bishop says, “and so we really wanted to make sure that his family and him are taken care of.”
Support that Larry says he is both overwhelmed and encouraged by to keep fighting.
“I think I can beat the odds, I really do,” Neal says.
Larry just finished his final radiation treatment last week, the next step could be chemo. If you’re interested in learning more about this Friday’s Love for Larry Event, or would like to donate click HERE.
Kristin Hosfelt anchors NBC5 News weeknights at 5, 6 and 11. Originally from the Bay Area, Kristin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from San Jose State University.
She came to KOBI-TV/NBC5 from Bangor, Maine where she was the evening news anchor. Kristin has won multiple journalism awards including Best Feature Reporting in the State of Maine. In 2017, her investigation on lead pipes in Medford’s water system was named Best News Series by the Oregon Association of Broadcasters.
When Kristin is not sharing the news, she’s traveling, hunting down the best burrito, or buried in a Jodi Picoult novel. She’s also a Green Bay Packers shareholder; if you see her out and about she’d be happy to tell you the story of how a California girl became a cheesehead.