Nika States The second time I interviewed Will Stratton, I sat next to his…
- Posted on Jan 22nd 2013 5:00PM by Caitlin White
This winter, Stratton moved back in with his parents in Seattle while undergoing treatment. The singer finished his fourth and final cycle of chemotherapy in late December, fighting malignant tumors caused by his testicular cancer.
Spinner can report that the guitarist's blood markers are showing normal, pre-cancer levels which is a very positive sign. However, a CT scan has revealed that Stratton has clusters of teratoma tumors in his liver, lungs, abdomen, aorta and kidneys. Doctors scheduled surgery to remove them this week.
Stratton has since endured 27 hours under the knife. Although this type of procedure is extremely taxing, he responded well during the process. Doctors say they were able to tackle
everything that they wanted to while in the operating room, but Will is currently sedated and in the critical care unit. The family wants to stress their appreciation to the extremely skillful and professional doctors and surgeons who worked on Will -- the danger of the surgery had nothing to do with their abilities.
Because of swelling, the medical incision that the doctors made in order to conduct the surgeries had to be kept open, as stitching it closed immediately would have put too much tension on his organs. They hope to close the incision today so the singer can focus on recovery and healing. One more surgery is scheduled for later this year to remove the last mass of tumors. Thankfully, this recent marathon operation has helped Stratton become nearly tumor-free.
We spoke through e-mail with his brother Matt Lulofs, who confirmed that Will was working on new music right up until the surgery.
"He had been writing and recording as much as he could during and immediately following his chemo cycles, and I think his ability to do so helped him prepare mentally and emotionally for surgery," Lulofs said. "He knew it was going to be a big operation, but I don't think he had any concept of just how extensive and serious it would end up being. None of us did."
The family has started a fundraiser page on Give Forward, to help raise funds to cover Will's medical costs and keep his fans and friends updated on his progress. Dubbed "Iron Will Lulofs" the page has helped his family raise almost $25,000 toward expenses and serves as a central place for those concerned about Will to get updates on his situation.
The Lulofs want to emphasize that the donation portion of the site sprang out of unexpected generosity from outsiders and is by no means meant to impose on anyone -- rather to provide an outlet for those who want to help but didn't know how. The page for updates and donations is here. The family has also asked for musical suggestions to play for Will while he is in the ICU. Feel free to comment on the Give Forward page if you have suggestions.