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Tamara E O'Neal Memorial Fund

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On November 19, 2018 we lost one of our dear friends from medical school Dr. Tamara O'Neal. With permission from her family, we wanted to do something to honor her memory that would be reflective of how she lived her life. To this end, we, Tamara's closest friends from medical school (names listed below) are starting the Tamara E. O'Neal Memorial Fund.  Funds donated here will be donated to the University of Illinois College of Medicine, where Tamara attended medical school, to be used towards funding the Tamara E. O'Neal Memorial Scholarship, which would provide scholarships for young underrepresented minority medical students and/or residents.

November 19, 2018 was a true loss. One of my best friends from medical school died at the hands of a dispute that went to a level of no return. Nothing prepares one to lay your friend to rest in the middle of an ER shift, but that story is for another day. Tamara O’Neal aka TO was one of the warmest human beings any person could ever talk to and be fortunate enough to develop a close relationship with. She was filled with empathy, compassion, and a love and loyalty that was unmatched. She was god-fearing and committed as she never worked on Sundays. Tamara was the brain child for our medical study crew OHQ (One hitter quitters) a mission for excellence to describe that we take test once, and only once. 10 young black physicians (Dr. Tamara O'Neal, Dr. Breana Taylor, Dr. Christopher Hicks, Dr. Chisalu Nnchekwube, Dr. Victor Nwankwo, Dr. Talia Minor, Dr. Ameera Haamid, Dr. Elizabeth Bonsu, Dr. Alexandria Holliday,  and Dr. Garth Walker) seeking to make their mark in a world that lacked so few, but tied together by a ball of support encouraged and led by Tamara. She laughed and loved often, and from what I understood, wanted to be an Emergency Medicine doctor and save lives on the south side as soon as she walked into the doors at UIC. Our quarterly updates post medical school at pancake house in Hyde Park were filled with laughter/ambition and conversation centered around family, friends, gossip, and other mundane aspects of life. Her story is a testament to what happens when someone is lucky enough to have intelligence with persistence, resilience, and an unwavering principle to do right, and look out for others. Tamara was an incredible advocate, particularly for physicians of color or anyone that may have expressed an inkling of doubt, as her disarming nature and warm smile made it easy for even the shyest aspiring doctor to inquire about the amazing job she loved, and in due time lend herself as a resource. Her family, just as amazing, God fearing and in unison, accepted all her closest friends as if they were their own, extending invitation for huge family meals and aware of the challenges that each of us faced. They loved often, and their commitment to God, community, and respect for brethren only further solidified/explained their ability to raise such a beautiful black physician. Her legacy will never be forgotten. Love you

-Dr. Walker on behalf of the OHQs (Dr. Breana Taylor, Dr. Christopher Hicks, Dr. Chisalu Nnchekwube, Dr. Victor Nwankwo, Dr. Talia Minor, Dr. Ameera Haamid, Dr. Elizabeth Bonsu, and Dr. Alexandria Holliday)

Organizer and beneficiary

The OHQs
LaPorte, IN
Christine Devocelle

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