According to WWAY, Eddie Van Halen recently had a FaceTime conversation with a fan named Michael Brewer, who is battling prostate cancer.
The 54-year-old Carolina Beach, North Carolina resident was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease in 2013, and has since contracted chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and prostate cancer that has metastasized to his bones. Chemotherapy has stopped working, and his diagnosis is terminal. For the past eight months, he has been receiving palliative care at Lower Cape Fear Hospice.
Brewer's wife Julie posted pictures of the online meeting to her Facebook page with the message: "Soooo…this just happened! Eddie & his wife Janie were simply amazing! Felt like we were sitting and chatting with a close friend! Thanks to Eddie & Janie Van Halen & everyone at LCFH [Lower Cape Fear Hospice] for making Michael's dream come true! Eddie still has the best smile."
Michael, who had to stop working as a house-painter after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, told StarNews Online: "I've got a lot I want to do, but it's time. Time flies quickly. When I was younger it was surfing, everything a young man does. And then my life just sort of comes to a stop. I can't even get out and wash my truck; everything's a struggle."
Eddie Van Halen himself is a cancer survivor, having surgically lost one third of his tongue to a cancer that eventually drifted into his esophagus. He was declared cancer-free in 2002. Ten years later, the guitar legend revealed in an interview that his cancer had returned twice in 2011. He told Esquire magazine that doctors found and removed cancer cells from his throat, and the following fall removed another small chunk of his tongue for the same reason. He explained: "I haven't talked about this, because I don't talk about this."