From the state of the “Tiger King’s” Joe Exotic’s prostate cancer to the emotional reunion of two 3-year-old cancer survivors, here’s what’s happening in the cancer landscape this week.
Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, popularly known as Joe Exotic or the “Tiger King,” starred in the Netflix documentary, “Tiger King,” and is currently serving a prison sentence for his involvement in a plot to hire two men to murder Carole Baskin, an animal rights activist. He was also convicted on 17 charges of animal abuse and was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison in January 2020.
Exotic, 58, initially revealed that he has prostate cancer in May via a Twitter post in which he pleaded to be let out of prison to receive proper medical care.
Recently, he shared that he is experiencing hip, pelvis and stomach pain, and thinks his cancer may have spread to his pelvis and stomach. However, he feels he has received inadequate medical care and fears he may die from COVID-19, according to The New Zealand Herald.
Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden, known for leading the Florida State University Seminoles football team to two national championship wins, died this week from pancreatic cancer.
Bowden had an impressive coaching career over a span of 40 years, with a record of 315-98-4 during 34 seasons. With a total of 357 wins, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Bowden, 91, will be laid to rest in Tallahassee at a ceremony Friday, and in the Moore Athletic Center for a public viewing. His public funeral will occur on Saturday at Florida State’s Tucker Civic Center and will be livestreamed, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. On Sunday, he will lie at his alma mater, Samford University, in Birmingham, Alabama, before he is buried in Trussville, Alabama at a private service.
Mack Porter and Payson Altice, both 3, met at Phoenix Children’s Hospital while undergoing treatment for cancer.
After Porter finished his treatments, he was adamant on wanting to go back to the doctor to see his best friend.
“Every morning, his first question was, ’When can I play with Payson?’” said his mom, Dani Porter, to TODAY Parents.
The two tiny friends were reunited last month, and their encounter was documented in a video on Twitter in which Porter hands Altice a bouquet of flowers before they hug one another. Both children, who will begin preschool this year, are now in remission from their cancers – Porter had been diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) while Altice’s diagnosis was B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
According to Porter’s mom, the two initially met when Porter saw Altice walking around the hospital with balloons.
“I just knew Mack would like her,” she said. She asked Altice’s mother, Traci Barrett, if they wanted to join them for a walk, because the playroom at the hospital was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to TODAY, Barrett can’t talk about their friendship without crying, and said it’s “indescribable.”
“Top Gun” actor, Val Kilmer, lost his speech while undergoing treatment for throat cancer in 2014. Recently, he worked with a software company – Sonantic – to replicate an AI model of his voice.
In a video released with the AI-generated voice, Kilmer explains that his creative soul remains even though he could not express himself.
“I’m grateful to the entire team at Sonantic who masterfully restored my voice in a way I’ve never imagined possible,” he said in a statement. “As human beings, the ability to communicate is the core of our existence and the side effects from throat cancer have made it difficult for others to understand me. The chance to narrate my story, in a voice that feels authentic and familiar, is an incredibly special gift.”
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