The North Bend Eagle

 

Eckmann in fight for life now

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 9/20/17

Randy Eckmann has been active all his life. He was an amateur boxer, even a national champion boxer. Eckmann even tried professional boxing a few times. In 2005 he was inducted into the Nebraska Boxing Hall of Fame. Eckmann kept involved with the sport serving as an referee. In 2010 he was named Outstanding Officiant at the National Junior Olympics Boxing Tournament at Camp Lajue, N.C. He was featured in a North Bend Eagle article on Oct. 13, 2010.

EckmannsChance, Randy and Trigger Eckmann pose at a recent family gathering. The Eckmann family is raising money for Randy’s fight against cancer.

But in spring 2016 Eckmann, 49, was hit with a punch he wasn’t expecting.
He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, bone marrow cancer. During the winter of 2016-17, Eckmann underwent chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

Several months after being released home, with his immune system still not built up, Eckmann came down with pneumonia. He was readmitted to the medical center for treatment. It was at that time he was diagnosed with a second cancer, acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Doctors said this could have been an unfortunate side effect of the previous rounds of chemotherapy and stem cell transplant.

This was unnerving for Eckmann and his family. The first stem cell transplant used some of Eckmann’s own stem cells, but the test showed that it never worked. His family, five sisters and one brother, were all tested and none were matches. Eckmann entered the national registry and two possible matches were found, so he is hoping that the next transplant holds more promise. He finished a session of chemotherapy two weeks ago, during which time he had to stay in the hospital for two weeks. Eckmann will have a bone marrow biopsy and other tests done Sept. 18 to see if he is ready for his transplant.

“If the counts are low enough, in a month we will probably be doing the stem cell transplant,” Eckmann said.

Eckmann is originally from Bloomfield, about a two-hour drive from North Bend, where his mother and two sisters still live. His father died from multiple myeloma at age 74.

Eckmann has worked for Great Plains Communication for 20 years, living the last 19 years in North Bend. He has been involved in the community, not only through his work, but also in the Chamber of Commerce chairing the Chamber’s barbecue at Old Settlers. His son, Chance, is a 2009 graduate of NBC and now works at Bob’s Custom Meats, LLC.

Eckmann has good insurance, but there are still expenses not covered by insurance. After his next stem cell transplant, Eckmann will have to stay within 30 minutes of the UNMC Buffet Cancer Center and his physicians in Omaha for up to 100 days. He will have to rent a place to stay, as the hospital nor his insurance provide this.

The Eckmann family has established a Go Fund Me page, at www.gofundme.com/randyeckmann and are planning fund raisers to help Randy out. There is a rummage sale and bake sale planned for Sept. 30, 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. in Bloomfield, a soup and sandwich benefit and silent auction is planned for Nov. 19, plus there are T-shirts for sale. For questions or donations, contact Krista Eckmann at 402-360-2839 or kkeckmann@yahoo.com.

 

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