The Walking Dead actor Erik Jensen has collected more than $100k with his GoFundMe since news spread that he was diagnosed with stage four cancer.
The fundraising page set up by his wife, Jessica Blank, gained the attention of more than 731 donors. As of this post, Jensen’s total is $104,973 and continues to rise with a goal of $300k.
The top donation currently sits at $5k from an anonymous followed by several other generous people moved by Jensen’s unique story. It’s unclear if any of his Walking Dead cast has donated thus far.
The GoFundMe was started a week ago, making headlines on Wednesday when news organizations discovered the actor was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer after surviving a brain aneurysm early in 2022.
Jensen is known for his recurring role as Dr. Steven Edwards in season 5 of The Walking Dead. He’s also appeared on shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Equalizer, and The Blacklist.
His cancer has spread to his liver — but his wife and their daughter, Sadie, 13, are keeping a positive outlook on his future.
“Erik is young and strong (cutting a film during chemo, working full-time as a director and writer throughout) and his doctors have a shot at shrinking the tumors enough to do two very major surgeries and get them all out. He is incredibly resilient and strong; Erik is a survivor. We know he can make it through this, come out the other side, and continue to make great work and support his community for years to come,” Blank revealed.
She said they need help with his medical bills as they are artists struggling through the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.
“The lack of streaming residuals has affected Erik’s family profoundly in the past few years, as it has affected so many middle-class working actors,” his wife explained, adding that Jensen’s aneurysm, the double strikes, and his cancer diagnosis have put the family in “an extremely precarious financial position.”
The family made it clear — they need a lot of financial assistance “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.”
They will be facing “massive medical costs (co-pays, treatments not covered by insurance) and all the additional expenses associated with intensive treatment,” the statement on the GoFundMe read, adding that Jensen and Blank have received health insurance through SAG and WGA for more than 20 years.
“Due to the strikes, the nonexistence of streaming residuals, and the fact that Erik may be recovering from major surgery during the earnings period to qualify for SAG insurance, they are facing a serious risk of losing their insurance,” the page explained.
The family concluded by writing that “Stage IV is not a death sentence, Erik is determined to make it through this, and he’s working incredibly hard to stay positive and fight for the shot that his doctors know he has. While hearing this news can be scary–if you reach out after reading this, the family would greatly appreciate communications of success stories, positivity and hope.”