The Walking Dead star Erik Jensen is fighting for his life after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
The actor, 53, has stage 4 cancer, according to a GoFundMe page created by his wife, Jessica Blank. Stage 4 means the disease is in an advanced state and has spread to different areas of his body. The diagnosis comes after Jensen survived a brain aneurysm early in 2022.
Jensen appeared in season 5 of The Walking Dead as recurring character Dr. Steven Edwards and his credits also include The Equalizer, The Blacklist, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The cancer has spread to his liver, however his supporters are optimistic about his future.
“Erik is young and strong (cutting a film during chemo, working full-time as a director and writer throughout) and his doctors think they have a shot at shrinking the tumors enough to do two very major surgeries and get them all out,” the GoFundMe post stated. “He can make it through this. But Erik and his family are in for the fight of their lives, and they need your support.”
Jensen and Blank, 48, have been married for 23 years. They have a daughter, Sadie, 13. They all appear together in a photo on the GoFundMe page.
The couple has worked together often. In 2017, Jensen codirected the film Almost Home with his wife based on her novel of the same name. In 2020, two plays they cowrote, Coal Country and The Line, both premiered at The Public Theater in New York City.
The GoFundMe account is hoping to raise $300,000 to “make it through the next year, pay for treatment to fight his cancer, keep their home, and maintain some sort of stability for Sadie.”
The Walking Dead cast and crew members are giving full support to their colleague.
The franchise’s chief content officer, Scott Gimple, posted a link to the fundraiser, and wrote on Tuesday, October 23, via X (formerly known as Twitter), “One of TWD’s own could use a little help. Erik Jensen, who played Dr. Steven Edwards in S5 was just diagnosed with cancer, and it’s a time of great uncertainty for him and his family. If you want to send something his way.”
Series star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who portrays Negan, also posted on X on October 23, “Never had the chance to work with Erik… until now anyway. Only have heard many things about what a great guy he is. I do know he and his could use some help…. Of any and all kind.’
The account post ends with hope for Jensen’s recovery: “Erik has a beloved young family, and has so much more good work to do in the world. Jess is being a warrior–a full time caregiver, full time artist, a mom, and as you can imagine, ‘producing’ the hell out of his care team at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Erik can survive this– but they won’t be able to make it through without support. We are so grateful in advance for whatever you can give.”