Kevin Neal – Kelli’s Dad
Kevin is Kelli’s dad, as well as the dad to Tristan and Aidan. He is a Commercial Real Estate Appraiser for Kalinowski & Associates in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is truly a family man who spends most of his time worrying about the welfare of his family. During his family’s stay in St. Louis, where Kelli received a double-lung transplant, he took care of the family home while managing his career and flying periodically to and from St. Louis. Kelli, bless her heart, turned her dad “gray” overnight. Ursula asserts that without his support, attention, and involvement in Kelligar’s day-to-day care, she would not have been able to cope. Besides being always able to attend every kid event EVER, he was ever present in Kelli’s care. Kelli had her dad wrapped around her little fingers, (although he denies it) and could always finagle her dad into carrying her – even when he himself was hot and tired. (Truth told, I think he liked it!) Kevin is truly a wonderful and loving person (and dad). Kelligar was lucky to have Kevin on her side.
Ursula Neal – Kelli’s Mom
Ursula, according to her family, is the single most important person responsible for transforming the “baby that won’t make it” into the vivacious little girl who graced us with her presence, short lived though it was. From the very beginning Ursula threw herself headlong into being there for Kelli during the initial months during Kelli’s dubious start. Except for the few precious hours each day that she spent at home reminding Tristan that he was loved and had not been abandoned, she could be found at Kelligar’s bedside comforting her and trying to grasp the realities of Kelli’s day-to-day medical condition. It was only through Ursula’s quest to find someone in the medical community that could provide the answer to Kelli’s undiagnosed condition that we became aware of the option of an organ transplant. Thanks to Ursula’s constant involvement with Kelli’s post-transplant development, Kelligar developed from the “Miracle Girl” whose every breath was an answer to all our prayers to the “normal little girl” we knew and loved. Ursula’s devotion to Kelli’s never diminished the love and attention that she lavished on her two sons.
Tristan Neal – Kelli’s Older Brother
Tristan is 20 years old and had the dubious task of moving to St. Louis with his mom and grandmother, Mary, when he was just a mere 3 years old. As trying as this event was on him, he is a well adjusted and happy guy who loved and protected his little sister. Even after his sister’s death he has managed to remain an excellent student and pianist. He writes science fiction short stories and studies video game development when he has a chance, which is far and few between these days, as his studies to be a geneticist and time spent with his long-time girlfriend, Jamie, keep him well occupied. He occasionally posts these stories on his website. Visit it at SafeguardSci-Fi. Under his belt are: the Gold Medal at the State HOSA Biotechnology Competition, as well as first and third places in both the state and national HOSA Biotechnology Competitions. He had a summer internship during his junior year of high school at Banner Sun Health Research Institute and landed his long sought after senior-year internship at the Translation Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in glioblastoma brain cancer research. He has remained at TGen throughout his first two years of undergraduate education at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. He recently had a science fiction story published, “Programmed to Die” (page 28) which can be digitally downloaded for free at Intel's - Tomorrow Projects.
Aidan Neal – Kelli’s younger brother
Aidan is 13 years old and is a 7th grader. He is a sweetheart of a guy and and seems to be well liked by everyone. He too, in a mother’s humble opinion, is excellent at most things he tries. He is an excellent pianist. He enjoys video games, particularly anything that resembles RPG's, and hopes to one day be a video game developer and composer. Although he was set back substantially when his sister died, he has regained his momentum and is moving solidly ahead!