Oil City Man Battling Rare Form of Cancer

| August 19, 2018

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – A fundraiser has been established for an Oil City man who is battling a rare form of cancer.

When 26-year-old Eric Lendrum, of Oil City, went to his doctor in April of 2018 with severe leg pain, an x-ray revealed that he had a mass in his chest.

On April 17, 2018, Eric had a biopsy on the mass, and the results confirmed that it was cancerous. He later had a second biopsy in Pittsburgh which was then sent to a specialist in Canada who confirmed that Eric had Synovial Sarcomas, a rare form of cancer most often found near joint capsules and tendons, but also sometimes found in other parts of the body.

Eric’s cancer is not only near several joints, there are also several small masses in his right lung and a large mass encompassing his entire left lung. His doctors say they have seen some lymph node involvement, as well.

Early on, Eric spent the majority of his time in Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He has been through five rounds of chemotherapy and has also had radiation treatment to shrink the mass in his thigh.

Over the last few months, Eric has suffered several complications. He developed blood clots which caused him to have multiple strokes, and he had several bouts of dangerously elevated heart rate, which his doctors have since been able to control.

Eric’s doctors also found that a piece of tumor that has traveled to his heart.

In July, Eric’s oncologist did a series of scans to see how well Eric is responding to chemotherapy. The news was a mixture of good and bad. Though Eric’s cancer is responding better than expected, with all of the masses shrinking from the treatment, the particular type of chemotherapy that he is undergoing has a limit to its use. Very soon, Eric will have to stop the chemotherapy and switch to a different treatment.

Eric’s oncologists have referred him to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston for second opinions on treatment options. He has been accepted to the program there and will be traveling to Boston soon to determine other options.

Though the family is holding on to hope for future treatments as they prepare to fly to Boston in late August, the future is uncertain in more ways than one. The family has sent information to their insurance company to see if they will authorize Eric’s initial consult in Boston, but they are not sure if the insurance will cover it.

“We have discussed this at length and have made the decision to follow through with the referral despite it likely being out of pocket. We are not willing to let financial reasons be a deterrent to explore every opportunity and ability to continue this fight,” stated a post on the Facebook page “Whatever it Takes!”

Eric and his wife Abby have two children, ages three and two.

According to Abby, through it all, Eric has kept a smile on his face, always keeping his head up.

“He wakes up every day hugging his children and me, thankful for another day. The amount of support and love from the community has also kept Eric, I, and our little family going. We have met some of the most selfless, loving people who make this journey a little less hard. We are so proud to be a part of this community,” said Abby.

A fundraiser through Go Fund Me has been established to help Eric and his family defray medical and other related expenses.

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