*Sadly, and after a courageous battle, Eric passed away early on the morning of Monday, October 22nd . Please click on the blog link above for updates on final arrangements. Many thanks to everyone who’s supported us.*
In 2010, at the age of 18, Eric Haas was diagnosed with Fibrolamellar HC; a very rare ‘young-adult’, primary liver cancer.
Weeks later, on September 3rd 2010, a 6 hour operation was done at St Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto. Half of Eric’s liver and a grapefruit sized tumour were removed. Unfortunately, the disease had metastasized (there was microscopic spread to the lymph nodes).
A few months after his recovery, Eric began to experience renewed and increasing discomfort. Scans indicated that the tumours were increasing in size and quantity. On Christmas Eve, a grim prognosis was delivered; this would be ‘Eric’s last Christmas’ – his last ‘healthy’ Christmas at best.
In late May 2011, a one week course of radiation was done at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. Subsequent scans confirmed what Eric’s improved health suggested – the targeted tumour (the largest) had indeed shrunk in size. Unfortunately, however, scans recorded 2 more tumours (for a total of 7).
His health deteriorating, Eric made the hard decision to follow his oncologists’ recommendation – and 3 months ago started a 6 month course of chemotherapy. Nexavar is a drug taken in pill form at home. Not responding to the treatment, the tumours continue to grow.
Desperately searching for answers to a cancer on which there is not much information or studies, it became apparent that there were few options. Aggressive surgery is by far the best approach. Finding a surgeon in Canada, with experience in FHC, however, proved to be impossible. Subsequently, our tireless research (conducted mostly online) lead us to Dr Vauthey at MD Anderson in Texas.
Responding quickly and with optimism, Eric’s scans and reports were reviewed by arguably the most experienced FHC team in the world. At the present time, we are awaiting a consultation date. The fee for this consultation is $32,889 US. Though he has written and submitted a compelling appeal, Dr Reingold has advised, in no uncertain terms, that OHIP will not cover this ‘out of country’ service (even though we have not been provided with any alternative options within Canada).
Determined to secure Eric the medical care he needs and deserves, we are appealing for help in funding his treatment. And as the next chapter in Eric’s story begins, we sincerely thank all who are joining ‘Eric’s Fight’.