Derek Johnston Derek Johnston

First post: Dec 19, 2019 Latest post: Dec 19, 2019
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Our friend Derek was diagnosed with stage 4 non clear cell kidney cancer, which has a low survival rate – but this story is set to have a happy ending, with your help! 

Derek lives in San Diego, CA. He had a successful career in Marketing and Communications, and is an active volunteer in the community. Derek is kind, loyal and has always been generous towards others. He is outgoing and super positive. Derek also trained many people around the world to be better communicators through his seminars and workshops. He wants so badly to be back at work and do what he loves to do in helping both children and adults.

A Friend In Need


Cancer has devastated Derek’s life. Over the course of months, he dropped from his regular weight of 185lbs to 103lbs at 6 feet tall. Derek lost the ability to swallow and walk any further than a few steps, so he was put on a feeding tube and confined to bed, being taken very quickly by this terrible disease. His contract with his employer ended shortly after falling sick and he has not been able to work in over two years. In December 2016, he had his left kidney removed. His Kidney cancer has spread to his bones, lungs, and liver. Derek was at death’s door.  

Derek was placed on an experimental immunology drug in clinical trails through the University of San Diego – and his turnaround has been nothing short of miraculous. He has regained almost 40lbs and is now in stable condition, which we attribute to his love of life, sheer inner strength, positivity and many blessings.   Prior to Derek being on the latest medical trial,  he was being treated with two other drugs  that had horrible side-effects and proved not work for him. He was dying. He was dying very quickly.  

On the latest trial, however, Derek's tumors have shrunk over 29%! His medical team is very impressed with his progress. There is hope for all of our loved ones because of volunteers like Derek who are being experimented on with this new cancer drug!  

How You Can Help!


The trial medication/drug has also limited his options for care. Derek has no family in San Diego – but because he is on an experimental trial, he cannot leave San Diego for treatment elsewhere. There are no viable options left for his housing and living expenses, without withdrawing himself from this life-saving trial. Meanwhile, because of his weak condition and lack of stamina he has been unable to work. To keep him in this trial – which could help countless cancer patients -- Derek and his brother have completely exhausted their savings over the last two years.   

Derek is working hard to build his strength, so he can get back to life! We need support for him to get stronger while this experimental drug continues to do miraculous effects.

Derek no longer has insurance and needs daily healthy food intake to gain weight for an upcoming surgery he may or may not survive. He needs a schedule set up for visits and daily checks. He also needs paperwork assistance for his health insurance options.

I have set this up for us friends of Derek to communicate with a schedule and plan to assist him thru this time.
Thank you, 
Jen Allen