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University Student Beats Cancer, Starts Foundation to Promote Awareness

November 06, 2013

Eric Lindgren

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Two years after beating cancer, Eric Lindgren, an Environmental Science student at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, is still going strong. Lindgren, who will graduate in spring 2014, stays active on campus as the current Beta Theta Pi President. But now, he is promoting cancer awareness through the Lindgren Foundation, which encourages people to learn the facts about breast and testicular cancer.

Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Lindgren, and his mother, Nancy, were the only family members to have had cancer. His story began in fall 2010 when he was diagnosed with testicular, liver, and lung cancer. At the time of his diagnosis, he was a freshman at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He knew that something was wrong, but doctors could not pinpoint what was making him sick. After hearing that it was bronchitis, stomach flu, or some kind of asthma, he finally went to the University Health Center.

“Every time a doctor would tell me something different, I would go see someone else,” said Lindgren. “Actually, the Health Center was the one who sent me to the emergency room. They said it was none of those things, and what I had was so much worse.”

A member of Beta Theta Pi, Zeta Rho chapter, he believes the support of his fraternity brothers helped him through the tough times. In September 2010, Lindgren spent three weeks undergoing chemotherapy at Bay Area Hospital. During that time, his fraternity brothers never left his side, staying with him throughout his treatments. The members of Beta Theta Pi showed support by shaving their heads and having root beer float parties in Lindgren’s room.

“My mother said it was thanks to them that I was able to heal as quickly as I did,” said Lindgren. “They were able to take my mind off of being sick and keep a smile on my face.”

Unfortunately, during his recovery, his mother Nancy, who was a breast cancer survivor, battled cancer a second time. This time the cancer spread to her spine. Cancer claimed Nancy’s life in October 2011.

After receiving five rounds of chemotherapy and a surgery to remove the remaining cancer, Lindgren is in remission. After graduation, he hopes to get a job in either the oil industry or environmental policy.

With the help of his mother and other family members, Eric started the Lindgren Foundation to help spread cancer awareness. He created hang tags, which display information on who is at risk and how to perform self-examinations. These cards, which can be placed on a shower head, are handed out by Beta Theta Pi during campus and community events. For more information, go to lindgrencancerfoundation.com.

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