We would like to congratulate Will Eward, MD, DVM, who was recently featured in People Pets:
Veterinarian Goes Back to Medical School to Help Save Dogs and Humans from Rare Cancer
Dr. Will Eward spends half his week treating pets, the other half treating people in Durham, North Carolina. The 42- year-old is both a veterinarian and an oncologist, specializing in treating cancer patients of the two legged and four-legged kind. He points to a dog named after a basketball star as one of reasons why.
His name was Shaq and he was a 12-year-old golden retriever with a cancerous tumor the size of a basketball. “I’ll never forget him,” Eward tells PEOPLE.
Shaq’s family came to the vet desperate to keep him alive as the little girl who’d grown up with him prepared to get married. “We managed to get the tumor out and he lived another fifteen months. The girl and her new husband got into a car at the end of the wedding to leave on their honeymoon and Shaq died 45 minutes later.”
It’s that kind of pet loyalty that the father of three says pushed him to do something incredible in his efforts to save his canine patients. He was working as a vet in 2000, treating dogs with osteosarcomas (96 percent of dogs with this type of cancer die within a year of being diagnosed) when he decided to visit what he calls “the human” hospital to see how doctors were treating humans with the same tumors.
“I wanted to see what we could learn from the human doctors.”
So in 2003, Eward went back to medical school, this time becoming an oncologist.