As of June 3rd, we have stopped accepting donations. We are keeping this page open for updates to all our wonderful supporters.
This is my original message for this page:
Some of you may remember my wife, Karen Black. She contributed tremendous work as an
actress in movies of the seventies and eighties. If you've ever enjoyed her
work, now is your chance to reach back to Karen "“ because Karen needs your help.
Karen has waging a battle for over two years with
cancer. She has not talked about
this publicly because she was hoping it would be cured and she could call
herself a cancer survivor.
Karen was diagnosed with ampullary cancer in November of
2010. She immediately had the "Whipple," one of the most serious operations
that is performed at the Mayo clinic were she had it done"“ a third of her
pancreas was removed. This was
followed by extensive chemo and radiation back home at UCLA in the Spring and Summer
of 2011. After suffering through
nausea, fainting and losing over thirty pounds, she was finally declared NED "“
No Evidence of Disease in July.
But by December 2011 a small tumor developed and another
surgery was in order, which left her completely bed-ridden. 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.
The cancer is minimized, but we know from past experience that
it won't be long before it comes back.
Her oncologist in Los Angeles has recommended that she do chemo therapy,
but the problem is that she is skin and bones - before starting on this journey
she weighed 156 pounds, she now weighs 96 pounds. That's a third of her body weight! Part of the problem is that missing a pancreas she doesn't
digest food, and also chemo makes it very difficult to eat.
Karen has been confronting the fact that she would die soon
if she didn't do something.
BUT THERE IS HOPE.
Karen's family physician of many years called us two weeks ago and told
us of success she has had with several of her patients doing a treatment in
Europe as part of a clinical study there.
I cannot go into more details now, but I promise I will in the future as
we get involved. I will say that this
is a medically supervised program and it targets Karen's kind of cancer. In fact, we personally know two of the
patients that have had remarkable recoveries from cancer there. So we know it works, and right now it
is her best and only shot.
But we have to move fast, Karen needs to go in the next few
weeks, otherwise she might be to weak to go at all.
Karen will be there for two months.
So here is the big question; why would someone like Karen
Yes, she was an actress in movies, but most of the high-paying work dwindled
out many years ago. She has a
modest pension and medical insurance (thank goodness), but as anyone knows who
has fought cancer, that is not enough.
In the last two years we have used up all of our savings keeping Karen
alive "“ traveling "“ treatments, getting people to help her. We have nothing left. And the European treatment is not
covered by insurance.
contribution will cover travel, living and treatment expenses for two months
and will give Karen a chance.
Please help anyway you can, we humbly accept it.