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Friday Frontline: Cancer Updates, Research and Education on September 13, 2019


From a Hallmark Channel actor revealing a kidney cancer diagnosis to a donor match first-time meeting 20 years later, here’s what is making headlines in the cancer space this week.

Singer Eddie Money has died after a battle with stage 4 esophageal cancer. His family released a statement earlier today.

“The Money Family regrets to announce that Eddie passed away peacefully early this morning. It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our loving husband and father. We cannot imagine our world without him. We are grateful that he will live on forever through his music,” his family said.

Money had taken time off from performing because of other heath issues, including developing pneumonia while recovering from heart valve surgery. He was best known for his hit songs “Take Me Home Tonight” and “Two Tickets to Paradise.” Money was 70 years old.

Hallmark Channel host and actor Cameron Mathison had surgery on Thursday to remove kidney cancer. He revealed his diagnosis in an Instagram post earlier this week asking fans for their thoughts and prayers.

Mathison, who also starred as Ryan Lavery on the soap opera “All My Children,” said that he went for an MRI a month ago for gut issues and doctors found a tumor on his right kidney. His exact diagnosis — renal cell carcinoma — the most common type of kidney cancer found in adults.

“The good news is that it hasn’t spread to any other organs,” Mathison wrote in his post. “They say my healthy lifestyle and diet has no doubt helped keep it from growing and spreading to other areas, as doctors think it’s been growing in me for minimum 10 years.”

The 50-year-old thanked his wife, children, urologist, family and friends for their love and support. And said he is feeling “very grateful and optimistic!!”

“The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” actor John Wesley has died. Wesley played Dr. Hoover, the father of a student who bullied Ashley Banks. The 72-year-old passed away from complications due to a long battle with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell.

Throughout his career, Wesley worked with stars such as Denzel Washington, Barbra Streisand and Morgan Freeman. In addition to “The Fresh Prince,” he had more than 100 film and television credits to his name, including “Fraiser” and “The Jeffersons.”

Wesley also served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.

She faked a cancer diagnosis, lying to family, friends, co-workers and even her own son. Now a Kentucky woman will go to jail for the scam. Jessica Krecskay is set to report to jail today where she as been ordered to serve 60 days behind bars and five years’ probation.

Krecskay told friends that she received a cancer diagnosis in 2013 and that it was terminal. Over two years, they raised close to $15,000 in donations, and some co-workers donated vacation days to allow her to spend time with her family.

In July, Krecskay pleaded guilty to theft by deception. A judge also ordered her to pay restitution within 90 days and fined her $1,000.

A cancer survivor met her donor after 20 years thanks to an online DNA test. Holly Becker received a stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis in 1997. She was just 24 years old and was told that there were no bone marrow matches. However, doctors found a match through an umbilical cord donation. That umbilical cord belonged to Patrick Davey of New York.

Years later, after using Ancestry.com, Becker and Davey learned they were somehow related. After connecting online, they learned it was from the cord donation.

On Sunday, Becker, Davey and his mother, Dania, met in person at Loyola University Medical Center, reported News Channel 3 in Memphis. “It's the craziest thing. It’s surreal to me,” Becker said.

As for Davey, he said, he feels grateful to have been put in the situation where he is.

Photo courtesy of the Aiken Standard

A town in South Carolina is going teal for ovarian cancer awareness month. The Newberry Street fountain in Aiken has been dyed teal to match the color of the disease awareness.

The event is to honor the daughter of Debbie Mills who died from ovarian cancer in 2007, only four months after receiving her diagnosis.

Mills, who also founded Gail’s Anatomy, hopes to make people aware of the often-silent signs of ovarian cancer.

“Ovarian cancer is known as the deadliest gynecologic cancer in the U.S., given that it is not usually detected or diagnosed until it has reached advanced stages,” Mills told the Aiken Standard. “… Unlike other cancers, survival rates for ovarian cancer over the past 40 years have not improved.”

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