‘Five Easy Pieces’ Actress Karen Black Is Crowdfunding Her Cancer Treatment

"Five Easy Pieces" actress Karen Black is seeking $17,000 for treatment in Europe

Last Updated: March 25, 2013 @ 5:35 PM

UPDATE, 5:33 p.m: Karen Black's original fundraising goal has been exceeded, and the actress has upped the goal to $22,000 — which itself has been surpassed.


Actress Karen Black, whose credits include "Five Easy Pieces," "Easy Rider" and "Airport 1975," is reaching out over the internet to seek money for medical treatment, after battling cancer on and off for more than two years.

Getty ImagesBlack has launched a crowd-funding campaign on the website GoFundMe.com, in hopes of undergoing a two-month treatment as part of a clinical treatment in Europe.

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Black's husband, Stephen Eckelberry, explains on the campaign's web page that Black, 73, was first diagnosed with ampullary cancer in November 2010, After an operation to remove a third of her pancreas and extensive chemotherapy and radiation therapy, Black was declared clear of the disease in July 2011, but in June 2012 the cancer came back, spreading to her lungs and lower back.

According to Eckleberry, Black currently weighs just 96 pounds — down from 156 before she was diagnosed with cancer.

Eckleberry says Black is currently living on "a modest pension," and that the couple has used up most of their savings on treatment for Black.

"We have nothing left," Eckleberry wrote on the campaign page. "And the European treatment is not covered by insurance."

As of this writing the campaign, which was launched March 14, has raised $9,241 from 150 donors, out of a $17,000 goal.