[Photo by: GWAR/Facebook]
GWAR guitarist Michael Derks, better known by his stage name, BälSäc the Jaws ‘o Death, has revealed that he’s battling a rare bone marrow disorder called myelofibrosis.
He made a statement through his virtual donor drive, explaining that he experienced “extreme fatigue and weakness” on Warped Tour this summer, and after being treated for severe anemia and receiving a series of blood tests, was diagnosed with myelofibrosis.
Myelofibrosis is a life-threating disease that causes “scarring inside of the bones and interferes with the marrow's ability to produce blood cells,” Derks explains. Without treatment, he’d only survive another three to five years, doctors say. However, with a bone marrow transplant, he could have a chance of curing the condition.
I will hopefully have the transplant early next year. I will spend a month in the hospital and then at least a year in recovery, where my immune system will be practically non-existent. The procedure has a mortality rate of 30%, but the Massey Center has brought this down to around 15%. With my family's help and the support of my friends, I will beat this.
However, he explains that he will not “let the impending hospitalization keep me from doing what I enjoy most, performing with GWAR,” and he’ll head out with GWAR on their North American tour.
I will be using labs across the country to monitor my blood over the next 2 months as we travel and will probably have to leave the tour at least once to come home for a transfusion, but as hard as the road can be, I look forward to the curative effect it can have on my soul.
If you would like to help support Derks’ fundraiser, you can donate and read his full statement here.
See GWAR’s full list of tour dates below:
10/26 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live *
10/27 – New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place *
10/28 – Worcester, MA @ Palladium *
10/29 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero *
10/31 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza *
11/01 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom *
11/02 – Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom #
11/03 – St. Louis, MO @ Pop’s *
11/04 – Sioux City, IA @ Hard Rock *
11/05 – Lawrence, KS @ Granada *
11/07 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue ^
11/08 – Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid ^
11/09 – Saskatoon, SK @ Saskatoon Events Centre ^
11/10 – Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall ^
11/11 – Calgary, AB @ The Palace Theatre ^
11/13 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom ^
11/14 – Portland, OR @ Roseland ^
11/15 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo ^
11/17 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst ^
11/18 – Las Vegas, NV @ Fremont Country Club ^
11/19 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades ^
11/21 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues ^
11/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Fonda Theater ^
11/23 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theater ^
11/24 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater ^
11/25 – Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall ^
11/26 – Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre ^
11/28 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom ^
11/29 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live ^
11/30 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues ^
12/01 – San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theater ^
12/02 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Varsity Theater ^
12/03 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade ^
12/05 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution ^
12/06 – Tampa, FL @ The Ritz ^
12/08 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue ^
12/09 – Peoria, IL @ Limelight ^
12/10 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall ^
* = w/ Ghoul, Doyle, and U.S. Bastards
^ = w/ Ghoul, He Is Legend, and U.S. Bastards
# = w/ Ghoul, Doyle, U.S. Bastards, and Stonecutters
We wish Derks the best as he continues his fight with myelofibrosis.