Fans raise $40K for actress Karen Black's cancer treatment

March 26, 2013 at 2:44 PM
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SHERMAN OAKS, Calif., March 26 (UPI) -- The husband of cancer-stricken U.S. actress Karen Black is thanking fans for offering their support and money after hearing she needs help paying for treatment.

"Everybody, thank you so much for the donations and kind thoughts," her husband Stephen Eckelberry said in a statement on the gofundme website Monday.

So, far fans have donated nearly $40,000 to help pay for Black to undergo experimental treatment in Europe as part of a clinical study to treat her ampullary cancer.

"Karen and are touched beyond belief. It's so great to know she can make this trip. I promise to keep everybody updated. Any additional money that is raised beyond our goal will go towards my going with her. This is amazing. Thank you so much."

The star of "Nashville," "Five Easy Pieces" and "Easy Rider" was diagnosed with the disease in November 2010, her husband announced on the website earlier this month. She has had a third of her pancreas removed, then underwent extensive chemotherapy and radiation in 2011.

"After suffering through nausea, fainting and losing over 30 pounds, she was finally declared NED -- No Evidence of Disease in July," Eckelberry said in a March 14 posting.

"But by December 2011 a small tumor developed and another surgery was in order, which left her completely bed-ridden," the message added. "Her cancer seemed conquered though. By spring 2012 she was doing a lot better and could walk around and was almost normal. But in June 2012, the cancer came back -- and it started spreading -- one near her lungs and one in her lower back. We started trying different things -- through hit and miss we found some alternative treatments that seem to help, and she went to Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles and had two operations in January and February to freeze the tumor in her lower back that by then had grown to be four pounds. Even though the operation was a success, Karen was completely debilitated -- even now she can hardly move around and is mostly bed-bound."

He went on to say Black's cancer is minimized, but now weighs 96 pounds and has trouble eating.

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