Walking Dead star diagnosed with stage 4 cancer
'The Walking Dead' actor Erik Jensen has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
Erik Jensen has been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
The 'Walking Dead' actor - who portrayed Doctor Steven Edwards in the fifth season of the show - "miraculously" survived a brain aneurysm less than two years ago and is now facing another health battle after being diagnosed with the disease, so his family are trying to raise $300,000 for him to undergo major surgery.
The 53-year-old star's loved ones wrote in a GoFundMe post: "After miraculously surviving a brain aneurysm just a year and a half ago, our beloved Erik Jensen was just diagnosed with Stage IV colorectal cancer...
"The cancer has metastasized to his liver, but Erik is young and strong (cutting a film during chemo, working full-time as a director and writer throughout) and his doctors have a shot at shrinking the tumors enough to do two very major surgeries and get them all out. He is incredibly resilient and strong; Erik is a survivor. We know he can make it through this, come out the other side, and continue to make great work and support his community for years to come.
"But Erik and his family are in for the fight of their lives, and they need your support.(sic)"
The post noted that Erik - who has 13-year-old daughter Sadie with wife Jessica Blank - is in a perilous financial position because of the ongoing Hollywood strikes.
It continued: "Erik and Jess have devoted their lives to making art that hopes to make the world better in whatever way they can. They are full-time freelance artists and live without the cushion that long-term commercial work can provide.
"The lack of streaming residuals has affected Erik's family profoundly in the past few years, as it has affected so many middle class working actors. Erik's aneurysm, the double strikes and now this diagnosis have put their family in an extremely precarious financial position and they need a lot of help to make it through the next year, pay for treatment to fight his cancer, keep their home, and maintain some sort of stability for Sadie.
"Erik wants to work through as much of his treatment as possible, but they are facing massive medical costs (co-pays, treatments not covered by insurance) and all the additional expenses associated with intensive treatment.
"The family has gotten health insurance through SAG (and occasionally WGA) for the past 23 years. 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 are facing a serious risk of losing their insurance.(sic)"
Several members of the 'Walking Dead' cast and crew have offered messages of support to the 'For Life' actor in the wake of his diagnosis.
Chief content officer Scott Gimple tweeted a link to the fundraiser and wrote: "One of TWD's own could use a little help. Erik Jensen, who played Dr. Steven Edwards in S5 was just diagnosed with cancer, and it's a time of great uncertainty for him and his family. If you want to send something his way."
And actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan also shared the post and wrote: "Never had the chance to work with Erik… until now anyway. Only have heard many things about what a great guy he is. I do know he and his could use some help…. Of any and all kind.(sic)"