Nearly two years after surviving a brain aneurysm, “The Walking Dead” actor Erik Jensen’s wife says he has been diagnosed with stage four colon cancer.
According to a GoFundMe page created by Jensen’s wife, Jessica Blank, the actor and his family are “in for the fight of their lives” and appealing to the public for financial help. The post claims the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike impacts the actor’s potential for effective treatment.
“The family has gotten health insurance through SAG (and occasionally WGA) for the past 23 years,” the post explains in part.
“Due to the strikes, the nonexistence of streaming residuals, and the fact that Erik may be recovering from major surgery during the earnings period to qualify for SAG insurance, they face a serious risk of losing their insurance.”
The actor’s GoFundMe post has already pulled in $92,308 out of its $300,000 goal. TODAY.com confirmed with GoFundMe that the post had gone through its verification process.
In 2014, Jensen played the role of Dr. Steven Edwards for three episodes of the AMC series’ fifth season of “The Walking Dead.” According to his IMDB page, the 53-year-old’s more recent appearances have been in series such as “Modern Love” on Amazon Prime, “Mindhunter” on Netflix and the ABC legal drama “For Life.”
The GoFundMe post says that Jensen’s cancer has metastasized to his liver. The page also emphasized that “stage IV is not a death sentence.”
“Erik wants to work through as much of his treatment as possible,” the post continues. The appeal also notes that the actor and his family are currently facing increased medical costs they say are not covered by insurance, as well as all the additional expenses associated with intensive treatment.
TODAY.com has reached out to Jensen but did not hear back by the time of publishing.
Colon cancer typically presents in older adults
The Mayo Clinic explains that colon cancer, sometimes referred to as colorectal cancer, is a growth of cells that starts in part of the large intestine. Early symptoms can depend on the size of the cancer, and it typically affects older adults but can present at any age.
“Doctors recommend that people with an average risk of colon cancer consider starting colon cancer screening around age 45,” the Mayo Clinic’s site explains. But people with an increased risk should think about starting screening sooner. People with an increased risk include those with a family history of colon cancer.
What are the first signs of colon cancer?
American Cancer Society says that colon cancer might not immediately present with symptoms. The organization recommends speaking with a physician if presented with changes in bowel habits, weight loss blood in stool, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain or cramping, or weakness and fatigue.
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